HMRC is trying to deliver digital services to disabled customers, employees

How the HMRC is trying to deliver ‘digital by default’ to disabled customers, employees

80% of tax returns are made online

John Lamb, editor of a magazine about technology for disabled people called Ability, writes about how HM Revenue & Customs is delivering ‘digital by default’ for UK’s 11 million disabled people.

Over 80% of tax returns are made online but even with HMRC’s 108,000 web pages and 200 digital services, it is not easy to accommodate disabled tax payers.

According to Chris Sexton of HMRC’s Digital Services group, “We can never offer a guarantee that it is 100% accessible. But we try to make sure that as many people as possible can access our systems.”

Sexton is working on ‘iforms’ which are interactive, will have help features and will be ablt o detect data errors.

HMRC is also working on videos in sign languages for deaf customers – unfortunately, due to security issues, it is difficult to communicate with customers over text or emails.

As for disabled employees, a recent poll showed that 7,000 HMRC employees identify themselves as disabled and HMRC is spending GBP 750,000 per year on special equipment to make sure that its digital services can be accessed by disabled civil servants.

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