We believe everyone has the right to be able to find and understand health information. At Health Navigator, we're continually working to make sure this is true of our website. It's our goal to make it easy for all our visitors — people of all ages, genders, ethnicities and abilities — to quickly and easily find whatever it is they are looking for, and understand what they are reading.
New Zealand Web Standards
Since July 2013, there are two web standards that Government organisations need to meet:
The New Zealand Government Web Toolkit is a website that provides tips, guidance and resources to assist organisations in applying these standards. For non-government organisations, such as Health Navigator NZ, the standards are optional. However improving access for everyone is vital and we are keen to keep working towards these standards.
Web Accessibility Standard
The Web Accessibility Standard focuses on "improving Government website accessibility for people with disabilities. Accessible websites also benefit users without disabilities, as well those using a variety of technologies to access the web. This helps the New Zealand Government to meet its obligations under the Human Rights Act 1993, and directly supports the aims of the ICT Strategy and Action Plan to 2017 and Better Public Services Results 9 and 10." (1)
Web Usability Standard
The Web Usability Standard contains "a number of non-accessibility related requirements, e.g. contact information, copyright and privacy statements, links to non-HTML documents, and printable web pages." (1)
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
If you are interested in accessibility, you may also hear about the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. This is a well established standard developed by an international group, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group and aims to make web content more accessible for people with disabilities. This has the added benefit of being more user friendly for everyone.
This standard provides three levels of accessibility (A, AA and AAA) and you can read more about these levels on the Web Accessibility Initiative website. (2) For developers, the Wuhcag website provides some practical checklists and resources.
How are we doing?
The Health Navigator website uses:
- Standard user experience accessibility features built into our site, eg, pages are designed with the end user in mind for ease of reading, this includes: choice and use of colours, fonts and image placement.
- A health literacy focus.
- A highly visible feedback tab where we can survey users about accessibility needs.
- The ability to increase the font size, available on each detail page.
More features are planned for 2016, including the development of quick keys optimised for different browsers and contrast pages.
Improving accessibility is very important to us. We work hard to apply Easy Read information principles (3) and adopt accessible language (4). We are also continually working to keep improving the structure, layout and usability.
To create a fully accessible website is very complex and expensive. A lot of thought and planning went into improving the website usability when rebuilt in 2015. More features are planned for 2016, including the development of quick keys optimised for different browsers and contrast pages.
Our strong focus on improving health literacy and reducing health literacy is present in all we do. This includes our web content, videos, resource development and workforce training. However, there is always room for improvement and if you find any problems or have any suggestions what else can be done, please contact us.
A guide to making Easy Read information People First's guide from the Office for Disability Issues. Everyone has the right to get information in a way you understand. This guide outlines the key principles for creating information in an Easy Read format.
Office for Disability Issues The Office for Disability Issues is a strategic and whole-of-government focused policy group, located within the Ministry of Social Development. It was established in 2002 to provide dedicated support to the Minister for Disability Issues and to be the focal point in government on disability issues.
Web Accessibility Initiative Comprehensive website providing strategies, guidelines, and resources to make the Web accessible to people with disabilities. Includes hosting the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 and a range of accessibility related working groups.
- Web standards ICT.Govt.nz
- Web Accessibility Initiative
- Easy Read Information, Office for Disability Issues Ministry of Social Development
- Accessible language NZ Government Web Standards Toolkit