Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


E-accessibility vital says Commissioner

Human Rights Commission

1 December 2006

E-accessibility vital says Commissioner on Disability Day

Human Rights Commissioner Robyn Hunt today welcomed the UN initiative of singling out e-accessibility as the theme for the International Day of Disabled Persons (3 December).

"Without accessibility features some people cannot use the information on the web at all," Ms Hunt said when speaking at a function to mark International Disability Day at Te Papa.

Public and private sector websites which aren't accessible risk denying people the basic democratic right to participate in society and exercise their responsibilities as citizens. Many people also need access to technologies such as adapted computers and software to access digital information.

Ms Hunt said e-accessibility was a basic human rights issue that is expected to shortly receive the backing of international law. The draft International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, expected to be ratified next year.

The draft Convention calls on members to "provide information intended for the general public to persons with disabilities in accessible formats and technologies appropriate to different kinds of disabilities in a timely manner and without additional cost".

Laurence Zwimpfer, deputy chair of the UNESCO National Commission in New Zealand and chair of UNESCO's Intergovernmental Programme on Information for All, said the Convention urged the media and business to do the same with their services.

Disabled people are at a considerable disadvantage by not being able to access information technologies. More jobs are advertised on the Internet than in the print media according to the latest ANZ job survey.

Ms Hunt said that e-accessibility should not be regarded as an "add-on". Rather it made sound economic sense by ensuring websites reached many new audiences, including the 20 per cent of New Zealanders who are disabled.

Accessible websites are compatible with new browser technologies deployed by mobile phones and that there is a clear link between accessibility and greater traffic. "Accessibility increases reach and that is the goal of every website," she said.

Universal accessibility of websites can be done by considering the following:
* Site designers need to ensure the pages can be magnified

* Can be read by screen readers

* Don't rely on using a mouse

\* Are clear and understandable


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>


Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election