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ACC resource for seriously injured clients wins award

Media release

4 December 2013

An online ACC resource specially tailored to meet the needs of clients with a disability caused by a serious injury last night won the ‘best plain English website for public sector/NGO’ category at the WriteMark Plain English Awards.

Sally Babington, ACC’s Claims Management National Design Manager, said winning the award was very satisfying, as helping to remove obstacles for people with disabilities, so they can live an everyday life, is important to ACC.

“Sometimes, obstacles can be physical, such as buildings that don’t provide easy access. But words can be obstacles too, if they’re not easy to understand. This is why plain English is such a crucial part of the Serious Injury and Disability resource.”

Both the content and functionality of the resource, which is part of the ACC website, have been tailored with the specific needs of seriously injured clients and their family/whanau in mind.

“When someone has a serious injury, both they and their loved ones can feel frightened and bewildered at the very different world they suddenly find themselves in.

“Understandably, people in this situation often feel desperate for information and support. So the resource sets out all the help that’s available from ACC and other disability support groups, as well as videos of people sharing their stories about adjusting to the challenges of living with an injury-related disability.”

Ms Babington says standard websites and computer equipment can be challenging to use for those with a disability, so the resource incorporates several features to make it more accessible.

“It uses colours and fonts that won’t cause visual disturbances for those with a traumatic brain injury, and all video clips have captions and transcripts for the visually impaired.

“Tabs and navigation aids are also set out in a way that makes them faster and easier to use for those who have difficulty operating a standard mouse and keyboard.

“For example, we’ve positioned scrollbars in a more central position on the screen, so people driving their mouse with assistive technology don’t have to move it so far around the screen.

“While these may appear to be minor enhancements, they can make a big difference for clients with a disability.”

Ms Babington says the resource came about through ACC listening to clients.

“They told us they wanted information relevant to them, in a form that’s easy to access, so that’s what we’ve aimed to provide for them.”

To check out the new resource, go to: www.acc.co.nz/disability

ENDS

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