Is Your School Inclusive?

by Jul 10, 2019Policy, schools, Web0 comments

newspaper placed on laptop's edge
In 2015, there were 4.3 million (or about 1 in 5) Australians living with disability. With a significant number of people in our community living with a disability, we must make websites inclusive so that everyone can access them. This also means that when developing a new school website or any website type, socially responsible web developers must make sure that no one is excluded.Fortunately, on 16 May 2019, the South Australian Government launched its Online Accessibility Policy and Toolkit. This policy is groundbreaking, as it now requires all public-facing websites be accessible and hasn’t only been praised at a state and national level but also internationally.

Every day, I conduct research, which consists of examining published websites, in particular schools’ websites. I am sad to report that I have come across school websites launched since the policy’s release that are inaccessible. This means that 20 percent of our community is automatically excluded. Inclusion is meant to be a core value of education.

Web accessibility is not a new social trend. It is best industry practice. Over the past twenty years, guidelines and protocols have been developed and revised by international bodies to help us achieve this high standard and make the web accessible to all. Yet, the majority of web development companies continue to ignore accessibility for a range of reasons –and it saddens me to say too, that some companies have not even heard of it. With the introduction of the South Australian Government’s policy, there is now no excuse. The new policy brings all the information and resources we need to develop inclusive websites together in one place.

Edu Net Solutions is proud to be the first web development company in South Australia offering accessible website to schools. Why schools? First, because I worked at the Department for Education building and maintaining school websites and second, I know there is a huge need for inclusive and accessible websites. I am passionate about serving the community by providing this service.

Quite often a website is judged by it looks and not for what it has to offer to everyone. I think it’s time to change that. In today’s highly technological world, developing accessible resources for everyone is important otherwise technology will continue to create factions and further marginalise groups within our community.

If you are a principal or school Leader and your school’s website was launched after 16 May 2019 but you are not unsure whether or not your new website is accessible, give us a call. We’ll offer you a free basic accessibility check.

Written by Kirio Crespo

Share This