Forum to discuss accessible communications for councils

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Wednesday, 13 November 2013 11:35am

A Melbourne forum about accessible communications for local councils will be held on Thursday 14 November. Called the White Horse City Council Accessible Communication Forum, the aim of the event is to discuss how surrounding councils can provide accessible communications for the community. The forum is part of the White Horse City Council’s Accessible Communication Project.

Presenting at the forum will be Media Access Australia’s CEO Alex Varley. His presentation will look at council services and how online communications and social media can be used to service members of the community who have a disability and require access to essential council information.

Considering how communications can be improved for people with disabilities includes ensuring online content such as documents uploaded to a website work with assistive technologies such as screen readers. Some of the council areas Varley will highlight include online communications for parks and sporting fields, civic engagement, planning and development, and community facilities and events.

"A local council is all about dealing with issues at a personal level and about things that affect your life directly, such as visiting a library, using a local park or what your neighbour is planning to build as part of their renovations.

"This information is often provided online and it is absolutely essential that this information and interaction is accessible to all people, including those with a disability," Varley said.

The White Horse City Council’s Accessible Communication Project aims to improve how Local Government provides communications within council and to members of the community. The forum will identify potential barriers to providing accessible communications and will discuss effective communication strategies for improving them. 

Presentations and workshops held at the forum on Thursday will be used to inform the development of an Accessible Communication Guide for White Horse City Council and surrounding councils.

Media Access Australia has information for councils and other organisations on implementing web accessibility on our Access iQ website.

For consumer information on accessible devices visit our Digital technology section, and for information on the accessibility of social media, web browsers and mobile apps, visit our Online Media section.

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