Equality & Accessibility

The covering note usefuly highlights that digital accessibilty is not just determined by income but also by age and disability. However the paper gives the impression that these are "choice" issues. For many disabled people it is the inaccessibilty of the software or the website that is the problem rather than any disinclination to go on line in itself. So, particularly when delivering (public) services care must be taken to ensure the platforms are truely accessible but also always ensure that there are non digital means of accessing the same information or making the same applications.

 

It should also be noted that for some groups accessing the internet is against their religious beliefs. In 2013 Seventh Day Adventists won a tax tribunal which overturned a requirement to submit information only by internet - no alternative was available.   

Why the contribution is important

Its unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of age, disablity of religion under the Equality Act 2010. Its also good practice to open your services to widest possible pool of applicants. Note that when COSLA moved to the MyjobsScotland site a number of councils were caught out because the site was inaccessble to many disabled people and there was no paper based system as a back-up.

by chrisoswald on December 06, 2016 at 01:35PM

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  • Posted by PaulCameron December 14, 2016 at 22:52

    Equality & Accessibility should be core to the design and development of digital services, it should not be an add on. User testing with disabled and sensory impaired at a useful point in the development process should be standard especially for when it comes to government services. User testing should not be a rubber stamping exercise (as it often is).

    More work is needed to help Councils and Government organisations and bodies to help them understand what user testing is and how to run useful user testing. Often it is difficult for organisations to run useful user testing because they don't know what is possible to help with accessibility or what good accessibility looks like.
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