Access all areas: digitalization of Irish public services continues apace

Technology

Accessibility is an effective driver of digital transformation in the public service

The utilities sector is changing rapidly as the government moves forward with its digital and ICT strategy, which aims for 90% of applicable utilities to be consumed online by 2030. that we should all embrace,” Stella Power, CEO of Annertech, said.

The ultimate goal is simple, that government services be easily accessible to as many people as possible. It is also a goal set by the World Wide Web Consortium, to make the Internet accessible to everyone.

The Connecting Government 2030 strategy addresses the “digitalization of public services”. It is part of the National Digital Framework, which will support “Ireland’s ambition to be a digital leader at the heart of European and global digital developments” and has a strong focus on “inclusiveness, safety and security. “.

Part of this inclusive aspect is accessibility, which means that websites – especially those in the public service sphere – must be usable and understandable for a majority of people with or without disabilities, and work with most technologies. assistance.

Why is this so important?

The latest census revealed that 13.5%, or one in seven people, of the Irish population identify as disabled – and by 2026 the National Disability Authority expects that number to rise to 20%. This could mean that a large number of potential users are not able to access a website enough to access services or conduct business.

There are also legal accessibility requirements in the form of an EU Web Directive (EN 301549) which applies not only to public-facing websites, but also to state department intranets.

Yet the National Disability Authority’s recent monitoring report, which was conducted under this guideline, found that none of the websites or mobile apps it reviewed fully complied with the required standard.

Supply and accessibility

The EU Web Directive also requires that the technical specifications of all public procurement intended for use by natural persons take accessibility criteria into account.

Tom Bamford is Annertech’s advocate for delivering an inclusive, clean, and comprehensive front-end code. He believes that these developments will influence the software chosen, as more care and attention should be given to the solution to be opted for, which is likely to lead to greater digital transformation, rather than renewing existing software.

“This should have a positive disruptive effect not only on the provision of a public service, but also on the software industry as a whole; as the focus shifts to accessible, even inclusive deliverables.

Choosing to make your website more accessible isn’t just a way to serve a larger user base. Implemented correctly, web accessibility also boosts search engine optimization (SEO) efforts and improves a website’s organic search ranking. In addition, the user experience at all levels can be improved, with an accessible design. Accessibility is not just an advantage. It has become imperative.

About Annertech

Annertech is Ireland’s leading open source digital agency. It helps some of the largest organizations in the public and commercial sectors achieve efficiencies by bringing their products and services online while delivering engaging end-user experiences.

For more details: Web: annertech.com; Phone. : 01-5240312; email: [email protected]