Rights activist seeks accessibility of Govt websites to people with disabilities

Rights activist seeks accessibility of  Govt websites to people with disabilities

Dimapur, April 17: Disability rights activist and member, National Committee on Rights of Persons with Disabilities & National Disability Network, Diethono Nakhro has written to the Information Technology & Communication Department, Government of Nagaland and the Nagaland Public Service Commission to ensure web accessibility and digital inclusion of People with Disabilities in Nagaland.
In a letter to the Commissioner & Secretary, Information Technology & Communication, the disability rights activist said there is an urgent need for the State Government to ensure accessibility of websites and documents to work towards achieving the vision of Accessible India (Sugamya Bharat) Campaign. Under the campaign, the Government has a target to make 50% of all Government websites accessible at the centre and the states by 2019. 50% of the documents published online also need to be made accessible.
In this regard, she said it is imperative for Nagaland to ensure that all websites, mobile apps and e-governance portals developed is compliant with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 – Level AA by the W3C. The State must also ensure that all tenders and RFPs are included in the websites, mobile apps and e-governance portals and comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guideline 2.0 – Level AA. She also wanted that key personnel handling IT & websites in various departments are trained in accessibility standards and guidelines.
Web accessibility must encompass all disabilities that affect access to the web, including auditory, cognitive, neurological, physical, speech and visual, she said.
“It is crucially important to remove digital barriers that are discriminating against People with Disabilities and to ensure that technology in the State is accessible and provides equal access to all,” added the rights activists.
In a separate letter to the secretary, NPSC, Diethono wanted the NPSC to ensure that its website be made WCAG compliant and accessible.
Citing the 51st Annual Report of the Nagaland Public Service Commission tabled in the NLA last year, Diethono congratulated the commission of becoming the first Public Service Commission (PSC) in India to successfully implement fully online application and payment of fee for civil service (preliminary) examination under the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP).
She, however, pointed out that the NPSC website does not comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and hence completely inaccessible to Persons with Disability.
“… a look at your website http://www.npsc.co.in/ shows that it is not WCAG compliant. The information and services being provided through your website therefore cannot be accessed by people with various disabilities. This is discrimination and completely unacceptable,” she said in the letter.
Diethono requested the NPSC to take immediate action to correct this and to ensure that the NPSC website provides equal access to all, including People with Disabilities. (Page News Service)