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Government concerns about enhancing web accessibility


The Government has been dedicating efforts to enhancing the accessibility of its web sites and promoting the awareness of web accessibility to non-government organisations and the community.

A spokesman for the Information Technology Services Department (ITSD) said today (September 30) that the Government attached great importance to making web sites accessible to all groups of people in the community including those with disabilities.

He also noted that the Government's Inter-departmental Committee on Information Dissemination through Government Homepages had issued web page guidelines, including guidelines on web accessibility to all government bureaux and departments since 1999.

"The guidelines serve as reference to enable government bureaux and departments to improve and enhance their web sites so as to facilitate people with disabilities to access government web pages.

"Our target is to enhance at least half of the government web sites within 2001 and the rest within 2002 to enable people with disabilities to read and obtain information from government web sites in an easier way.

"With the assistance and co-operation by all government bureaux and departments, we are confident that we can achieve this target," said the spokesman.

As one of the government activities promoting the importance of web accessibility to people with disabilities, the ITSD and the Social Welfare Department jointly organised a seminar on how to improve accessibility of web sites last Friday (September 28).

The seminar was aimed at introducing to webmasters and web pages designers of non-government organisations and related parties the usability and accessibility considerations in web site implementation. It also highlighted the obstacles encountered by visually impaired people in surfing web sites and how they could make use of assistive tools to access Internet web pages.

Through the sharing of successful experience in enhancing the accessibility of web pages in the seminar, it was hoped that people would be more aware of the necessity and method of producing web sites accessible to people with disabilities.

Earlier this year, the Government has conducted a survey on the accessibility of web sites of a number of public agencies and government-subvented organisations.

Results of the survey are encouraging as more than half of those web sites were already accessible to people with disabilities or had been scheduled to undergo the necessary enhancement work.

End/Sunday, September 30, 2001


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