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Web Accessibility Recognition Scheme launched (with photos)

     The Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) and the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) today (October 30) jointly launched the Web Accessibility Recognition Scheme to show appreciation to businesses and organisations for making their websites accessible.

     Under the scheme, websites of the participating organisations meeting the accreditation criteria will be authorised to display the gold or silver award logo as recognition for their achievement in adopting barrier-free design, hence contributing to a caring and inclusive society.

     Participating organisations can enjoy free assessment and advisory services on web accessibility.

     The scheme offers seminars for organisations and website managers to help them familiarise with the requirements and benefits of adopting web accessibility design. The first seminar was held today after the launch ceremony and was attended by about 200 representatives from various organisations. The accreditation results will be announced in April 2013.

     Addressing the launch ceremony, the Government Chief Information Officer, Mr Daniel Lai, said, "Advancement in information and communications technology (ICT) has brought about significant benefits and conveniences. For persons with disabilities in particular, it enhances their quality of living and makes it easier for them to get hold of the latest information and take care of daily needs. We hope the scheme can drive wider adoption of accessible web design and facilitate all segments of the community, including persons with disabilities, to access online information and services.

      "In fact, adopting web accessibility design not only helps organisations build a positive corporate image, but also makes websites accessible to search engines and as a result achieves more prominent rankings in search results. This would widen the reach-out to more online customers and enhance competitiveness. It is all pluses and no drawbacks," he said.

     Mr Lai said that the Government has been implementing a series of digital inclusion initiatives for persons with disabilities, with a view to enabling them to enjoy the benefits and conveniences brought about by ICT development. Among these initiatives were the Development of Assistive Technology for Persons with Disabilities Fund, the Web Accessibility Campaign and the Sponsorship Scheme on Development of Digital Inclusion Mobile Apps, which will soon start to accept applications.

     Equal Opportunities Commission member, Mr Nelson Yip, said, "Inaccessible websites limit the acquisition of information by persons with disabilities and their pursuit of activities in the Internet world. Organisations should take into account the needs of persons with disabilities and construct an accessible website at the early design stage as the cost would be minimal compared to that of a complete revamp."

     The scheme is open to all local businesses and organisations, non-governmental organisations, academia and quasi-government organisations. For details of the scheme, please visit .

Ends/Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Issued at HKT 15:00


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