Why is web accessibility important?
10.52am 02 November 2022
"If information is relevant to me — I’m a New Zealand citizen, I’m living here — I should be able to expect at a bare minimum that there would be captions to videos." - Daniel Harborne
Since early 2022, DIA's Communication team have been working collaboratively with the Web Standards team to create an All-of-Government video about web accessibility. The idea of the video was to highlight what web accessibility is, why it’s important and how public servants can contribute to the creation and delivery of accessible web content.
One in five New Zealanders are disabled, and it's vital that everyone can access information and services provided on government websites. The New Zealand Web Accessibility Standard provides a guide to creating web content. However, there is a gap in our skills and understanding of web accessibility.
This video, and supporting resources, begins to bridge that gap – to spark dialogue and encourage public servants to learn more about accessibility. By creating videos like this, in partnership with the disabled community, we can work towards a future where our work reflects the guidelines.
While making the content, the team recognised this as an opportunity to learn how to make an accessible video, so the whole process was to apply best practice in accessible video production, instead of adding accessibility on as an extra feature at the end.
This also meant working with the disabled community throughout the process. The team interviewed two fantastic SMEs with disabilities to understand and highlight their lived experience. The team also interviewed Government Chief Digital Officer and Chief Executive of Te Tari Taiwhenua Paul James and Digital Public Service Branch Deputy Chief Executive Ann-Marie Cavanagh. It adds immeasurably to the value of the video to have representatives of their stature speaking with passion and commitment to prioritise web accessibility, not as a nice to have – but as a necessary part of the way we work.