Council websites need to be accessible for all: Eastbourne campaign

council websites eastbourne designed for all

Council websites should be accessible to people with disabilities

Eastbourne Designed for All held a Digital Inclusion workshop recently where director Top Serpell said that if local authorities make their websites accessible to people with disabilities, they will automatically become easier for everyone to use. According to a Monitoring eAccessibility in Europe survey, less than 10% of all websites in the EU are fully accessible.

An article on UK Authority asks a follow up question: Why is it taking local authorities so long to make their websites accessible to blind or visually impaired people?

One answer could be that there is not enough awareness about the issue. Go ON Gold is a campaign to spread awareness and understanding of equality issues. It is supported by Go ON UK, the new digital inclusion charity chaired by UK digital champion, Martha Lane-Fox and it has recently partnered with Trafford Council and the Society for IT Management (Socitm).

According to Socitm managing director, Adrian Hancock: “The Go ON Gold initiative has real potential to reduce the division between digital ‘have’s and ‘have-nots’. By acting as ambassadors for the campaign, we hope that other local authorities will join Trafford in encouraging their employees to get involved and help make ‘digital by default’ a reality.” Moreover, Socitm will be publishing a review of local government websites in March

If that is not enough to convince councils that they need to improve their websites, there is also the fact that in December, the European Commission said that EU public sector websites which provide essential public services will have to comply with the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) guidelines from the World Wide Web Consortium.


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