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Access for people with a disability

Monday, 10th December, 2018

AbilityLinks’ Natasha Bearman shows Jessica Wisniewski the new Council website. Council is delivering the new website as part of its Disability Inclusion Action Plan, and Natasha was a big contributor to the plan through her work as an advocate for people with a disability. PICTURE: Emily McInerney AbilityLinks’ Natasha Bearman shows Jessica Wisniewski the new Council website. Council is delivering the new website as part of its Disability Inclusion Action Plan, and Natasha was a big contributor to the plan through her work as an advocate for people with a disability. PICTURE: Emily McInerney

By Emily McInerney

Council is developing a new website to better serve and inform the local community, and is inviting locals to browse the site and provide feedback.

The new site will feature an improved, simplified interface, and also increase accessibility.

“We recognise our current site does some things well, and others not so well,” said Council’s Digital Officer, Luke Dart.

“Our new site will be easier to navigate, feature new easier to use forms, and importantly, will be far more disability-friendly.

“When we talk about our Disability Inclusion Action Plan, it’s not limited to just ramps, kerbs, and footpaths.

“It’s about striving to be inclusive in all aspects of our business, and that includes ensuring that all members of our community have equity of access to information and services.”

Council’s Communications Manager Darrin Manuel said the website development was cost effective.

“The new website will be funded by operational savings achieved in the Communications Department, along with the existing budget currently used to cover the costs of the existing website,” Mr Manuel said.

“We’ve worked extremely hard over the last two years to increase our output whilst reducing costs, thereby allowing Council to provide the community with a specialised Local Government website with a neutral budget impact.”

Mr Dart said the new platform provides a number of benefits.

“The OpenCities platform provides a number of benefits to Council and residents that our existing site does not,” Mr Dart said.

“Our Disability Inclusion Action Plan identified the urgent need to have a website that met international accessibility standards. 

“Our new site is compliant with Website Accessibility Guidelines to a “AA” standard - the industry-accepted level for providing equal and equitable access to information and services to people with disabilities. It can also be displayed in multiple languages.”

Mr Dart said the new website will enable Council to deliver better online services, whilst reducing the administrative workload associated with them.

“The website product effectively behaves like a smartphone ‘app’ when used on a mobile device. 

“With more and more people accessing the internet via mobile devices, we identified the need to service this market, without the cost and challenges of developing a new standalone app that residents would have to download separately.

Council’s new website can be found at https://brokenhill.prelive.opencities.com/Home, or by clicking on the red pane at the top of Council’s existing website.

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