Progress with accessibility needed in New Zealand

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Friday, 22 July 2016 08:18am

121 students took over New Zealand’s Parliament to debate about ‘Accessible Web Pages and Apps’. This was a mock bill aiming to improve accessibility in NZ.

Close up of person in a lecture browsing their laptop

This happened in the past few days on the 19th and 20th of July 2016.  Although this was a mock bill it certainly shed some light on real-life issues and challenges that will resonate with those people whose daily lives are affected due to lack of digital accessibility. The aim of the mock bill is to draw awareness to the issues and highlight inequalities and contradictions within New Zealand law.

Sandra Budd, Blind Foundation Chief Executive explains that “it is time to escalate the debate about making New Zealand truly accessible, to drive legal changes required, so that every organisation can do the right thing.”

This isn’t the first time that an issue has been raised to officials recently. The Blind Foundation and Blind Citizens New Zealand are two organisations who have been working inexhaustibly for years to advocate on these issues.

It was reported in June that New Zealand’s Government Administration Committee has announced an inquiry into captioning, and is seeking submissions from the public. And on Global Accessibility Awareness Day, 19 May 2016, the New Zealand Captioning Working Group submitted a petition to Mojo Mathers, Green MP, with more than 2,300 signatures in a bid for the House of Representatives to legislate closed captioning across all relevant media.

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