Australian web accessibility awarded

Wednesday, 16 November 2011 14:41pm

The winners of the Australian Web Awards have been announced, recognising the importance of accessibility in web development and design.  The Cerebral Palsy Alliance took out the national award for best overall accessibility for its main website.

"We're delighted that there's a growing recognition of the importance of web accessibility in Australia," said Robyn Cummins, Manager of the Communication Design Team at Cerebral Palsy Alliance." With one in five Australians with a disability and a rapidly ageing population, it should be on every organisation's agenda."

"We built the Cerebral Palsy Alliance website to meet the international Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0 AA). There are so many small things that you can do that make a big difference for someone with a mobility or vision impairment. At the end of the day,  good usability and accessibility benefits everyone."

In striving for community engagement, the Alliance has produced a website which is rich in a variety of content. Audio-visual content is made accessible to Deaf and hearing impaired users through closed captions. However, the site’s videos are yet to include audio description for people who are blind or vision impaired, proving that even the best websites can be improved.

"We aim to continually improve our website in all areas, particularly with regards to accessibility. Audio description of our videos is next on our agenda," said Cummins.

Media Access Australia’s manager of digital media, Sarah Pulis commended the Alliance for their efforts. “The Cerebral Palsy Alliance is a good example of a website that not only meets WCAG 2.0 AA accessibility standards, and also has an engaging design. It is important that organisations and companies realise that you don’t have to compromise on the look and feel of a website for it to be accessible.”

The Australian Web Awards also gave commendation to the LEARN Foundation for Autism and Karen Williams, Candidate for Mayor. The awards feature categories across web development and design. All nominees must have considered accessibility in the development process.

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