Hong Kong honours accessible websites and apps

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Wednesday, 22 April 2015 13:48pm

The Government of Hong Kong has once again recognised the efforts of web developers and designers in creating websites and mobile apps that are accessible to everyone.

Web Accessibility Campaign: Making Web Content Available for All banner. Image credit: ogcio.gov.hk

The Government, through its third annual Web Accessibility Recognition Scheme awards ceremony, has drawn attention to 199 accessible websites and 45 mobile apps for achieving prescribed accessibility requirements—a 50 per cent increase over 2014.

The scheme, which has run since 2013 and is co-organised by the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) and the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), seeks to reinforce good accessibility practices and encourage emulation by others.

According to the Hong Kong Government, the OGCIO provides a free assessment and advisory services to participating organisations to help them understand and meet the accessibility requirements. 

An online quiz on web accessibility has also been introduced to foster public knowledge and awareness as part of the online voting exercise for the selection of the favourite accessible websites and mobile apps. More than 7000 people took part in the voting and quiz.

According to the official website for the scheme, accessible websites and apps have many benefits for business and public sector organisations.

“Making a website accessible not only facilitates different users and customers, including persons with disabilities and special needs, but also boosts its search rankings from search engines and helps reach the widest audience through higher web visibility and increased traffic to the websites, thereby giving enterprises and organisations an edge in the growing digital marketplace, and projecting a positive corporate image,” the website reads.

In addition, accessible websites and apps also help organisations meet social responsibility and legal requirements and boost their corporate images.

“Adopting good coding practices required of accessible websites makes maintenance easier and achieves cost savings in the long run,” the site states.

Accessibility also enhances competitiveness by “widening [your] online customer base”. Making websites accessible also “facilitates more prominent ranking in search engine results, which in turn helps business development, [and enhances] usability for everyone, disabled or not.”

Web accessibility advice

Media Access Australia, Australia’s only independent not-for-profit organisation devoted to increasing access to media for people with a disability, works with public—and private—sector organisations to improve their digital accessibility.

Through its digital accessibility services, Media Access Australia supplies professional services around improving the accessibility of online documentswebsite accessibilityorganisation-wide accessibility strategy as well as professional development in accessibility.

Media Access Australia also helps increase inclusion through its thought leadership and research in important areas such as social media accessibilityservice provision for people with disabilities and cloud computing and mobile accessibility.

If you’re part of an organisation looking to create greater digital inclusion, contact Media Access Australia by calling (02) 9212 6242 or complete the enquiry form on our Contact page for more information.

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