Roger Hudson: Brief Biography

Roger Hudson has an extensive background in media related companies including directorships of a successful film and video production company and a specialist educational multimedia publishing company.

He has a post-graduate certificate in Internet Marketing and has provided website usability and accessibility services to many corporate and government clients including Australian Bureau of Statistics, Westpac Bank, Australian Museum, Qantas, NSW State Library, University of Sydney, NSW Department of the Environment, Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Amnesty International Australia.

Pre-web days

Roger Hudson worked in the film and television industry for nearly 20 years. In addition to his work as a freelance writer and director in the commercial sector, he specialised in researching and producing social-change material for different clients including the NSW Police, Workcover and NSW Department of Education.

He has extensive experience in conducting focus-group based qualitative audience research and in developing informational materials for diverse audience groups. For example the National Heart Foundation GP Preventative Health project (1990) led to the development of new strategies for communicating health messages to people from low socio-economic backgrounds. The research findings have been presented at international medical conferences and are now integrated into national health campaigns around the world.

As a partner in ELS Pty Limited, Roger developed and published English language teaching material. The video-based course Words Will Travel, which was released in 1994, was used extensively in Australia and Japan for about five years.

Roger’s work as a writer and director of film and video programs has received critical acclaim, including awards from the British Educational Television Association, the New York International Film and Television Festival, the Red Cross International Film Festival and the Australian Society for Educational Television.

The web

Roger Hudson’s active involvement in the Internet dates back to 1996, when he supervised the development of the Virtual Classroom project that explored the use of the Internet in language teaching. The Virtual Classroom trials during 1996/97 involved more than 500 students from Australia, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia and the USA.

Roger Hudson established Web Usability in 2000 with the aim of providing specialist website usability and accessibility evaluation services.

During 2002/3, Roger was an Internet consultant for the NSW Office of Information and Communication Technology (formally the Office of Information Technology). In this capacity, he undertook a usability and accessibility audit of selected NSW government agency sites and provided practical advice on how the accessibility of NSW government sites could be improved.

As an accessibility specialist, Roger is familiar with the needs of people with disabilities and how these needs can be most effectively met. He is aware of the functionality and potential of the different assistive technologies and has conducted numerous usability and accessibility studies with a wide range of web users including those with disabilities.

Roger has a detailed understanding of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and the requirements for website accessibility under the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act in Australia. He is also familiar with the U.S. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 508 (website accessibility) of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act, and how these relate to the W3C guidelines. He was an active contributor to the development of Version 2.0 of WCAG, which were released in December 2008 and endorsed by the Australian Government in February 2010. Since that time, he has helped companies and government agencies migrate from WCAG 1.0 to WCAG 2.0.

Roger has a Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment. He was a part-time teacher in the Web Production and Management course at the Sydney Institute of Technology (2001 – 2004) and developed the Usability and Accessibility course and resources for the Institute.

Roger Hudson has presented usability and accessibility workshops in Australia, New Zealand and the USA. Recently he has been providing in-house training for Australian government departments to help them meet the National Transition Strategy to WCAG 2.0 requirements.

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