February 24, 2024

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Enhancing Website Accessibility with Accessibility Checker

In New Zealand, the Web Accessibility Standard establishes the accessibility criteria for government websites. The Digital Public Service (DPS) branch is actively assisting government organisations in adhering to this standard and developing websites that are accessible to individuals with disabilities. The DPS branch’s Centralised Web Accessibility Checker (CWAC) is specifically designed to aid in this endeavour.

One of the main reasons for the importance of website accessibility is the growing number of people with disabilities. Based on reliable authorities such as the World Health Organisation and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 16% of the world’s population (equivalent to over 1 billion people) live with a disability. In New Zealand alone, the number of disabled people in the sample for the 2023 Household Disability Survey (HDS) report is likely to be around 4,000 of the total population of 5,151,600 per latest December 2022. These disabilities can manifest in various forms, encompassing cognition, physicality, sensory perception, and intellectual functioning impairments.

In 2023, the significance of website accessibility is growing exponentially. Narrowing the divide in the digital realm has emerged as an important concern. Ensuring that all individuals can access various online resources such as news articles, online shopping, banking services, government assistance, and more is of utmost importance. By prioritising website accessibility, we guarantee equal access to online content for everyone.

CWAC assists government organisations in addressing accessibility concerns by automating the process of scanning numerous websites for potential issues. This enables the DPS branch to assess the overall accessibility status of government websites efficiently. Additionally, CWAC can provide a comprehensive list of identified issues, eliminating the need for costly third-party testing while equipping government organisations with actionable insights for improvement.

The pilot phase of CWAC has garnered significant interest from multiple government organisations, with numerous entities signing up to participate. The DPS branch’s Web Standards team will actively engage in comprehensive testing and continuous development of the tool in collaboration with these organisations, dedicating their efforts until early 2024.

During this extended period of rigorous testing and development, the DPS branch’s Web Standards team aims to assess CWAC’s performance across a diverse range of government websites, taking into account various complexities and unique requirements. This collaborative approach will ensure that CWAC aligns seamlessly with the specific needs and objectives of government organisations, ultimately resulting in an optimised and tailored solution.

By closely partnering with government entities throughout the pilot phase, the DPS branch’s Web Standards team will gain invaluable insights and feedback, allowing them to refine and enhance CWAC based on real-world scenarios and user experiences. This process will foster an iterative approach and culminate in a robust and reliable tool that aligns with the evolving accessibility standards and expectations of government websites.

The primary objective of this comprehensive pilot programme is to ascertain how CWAC can be effectively leveraged as a transformative and sustainable solution for ongoing improvements in government websites’ accessibility.

By harnessing the wealth of knowledge and experience gained from this collaboration, the DPS branch’s Web Standards team seeks to establish CWAC as a vital tool in promoting inclusivity, ensuring equal access to vital online resources and services for all individuals, regardless of their abilities or disabilities.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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