New website accessible for all

Digital accessibility for all, whether that be for people with disability, those who are ageing, or residents who are culturally and linguistically diverse, is the aim of the City of Cockburn’s new website.

Launched last week, the website has been developed and audited to meet the internationally recognised Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

The City’s aquatic and recreation centre website also underwent an accessibility overhaul.

City of Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett said the updated websites allow people to meet their own information needs, independently and securely, without having to telephone or come into the City offices in person.

“This is critical for the inclusion of people who have traditionally been marginalised in our digital society,” Mayor Howlett said.

“Enabling more people to fulfil their information needs independently from these websites means those people who do need personal assistance won’t be faced with long waiting times.

“This improves the experience for all citizens in their dealings with the City.”

The City began work to update its circa-1999 website in 2015 under the guidance of website accessibility expert, WA-based Dr Vivienne Conway.

With her company Web Key IT, Dr Conway was contracted to provide digital accessibility consulting, training and auditing for both websites, from the tender selection process in 2015.

She worked with the City of Cockburn and Perth website developer Alyka to ensure accessibility was addressed at every stage of the process, rather than relying on an audit and remediation at the end of the sites’ development.

“Among all the websites that Web Key IT has tested, including internationally, the new City of Cockburn websites are among the very best,” Dr Conway said.

“In local government, we haven’t found a more accessible website. One of our user testers who has been blind since birth stated ‘the website is so accessible and lovely to use, that it makes me want to move to Cockburn’ – I don’t think you can get higher praise than that!”

City of Cockburn Business Trainee (Disability) Bianca Migliore, who has profound hearing loss, also has high praise for the new websites.

“They are very simple to read and understand. Access to the hearing loop is better and the Auslan interpreter is fantastic, just click and it goes to email.

“I enjoy the new vibrant look. From an accessibility point of view, it’s easier to navigate. The colours are great, the font makes it easier to read and the language is very simple to understand.”