28/09/2019

Launched seeking public feedback on 28 September 2019.

The South Australian Government Online Accessibility Policy is now supported by an easy read guide.

Identifying a need for easy read

In December 2018 we placed a draft version of our Online Accessibility Policy out for public consultation.

We also surveyed more than:

  • 1000 state and local government staff
  • 900 members from the Australian Government communities of practice.

Through this feedback we identified:

  1. That our draft policy was complex, difficult to understand and therefore implement.
  2. A need for simple, step-by-step 'how to' plain English guides to support the policy.
  3. That the policy itself needed to be presented in a different way to increase the chance of adoption.

The first phase of this work resulted in the Online Accessibility Toolkit being launched with the policy on 16 May 2019.

You can read more about the launch: State Government strengthens its commitment to providing accessible digital services for all South Australians (Minister Lensink Media Release)

For phase 2, we researched various approaches designed to make the policy easier to understand.

This research led us to the broad benefits of easy read.

What is easy read?

Early on we identified that if the Online Accessibility Policy could be presented in easy read, it had the potential to benefit everyone.

This is because information is made easier to understand by:

  • using plain-language
  • using short sentences
  • telling people exactly what they need to know

Find out more about easy read in our introduction to easy read.

Consultation reach

A draft easy read guide to our Online Accessibility Policy was developed in partnership with Information Access Group.

We also sought feedback from:

  • Vision Australia.
  • Australian cross-government communities of practice community. Reaching nearly 900 members from local, state and federal government in Australia.
  • UK Government accessibility group. Reaching all levels of government in the UK.
  • Accessibility Design Team, Department for Work and Pensions (UK Government).
  • Canadian Government.
  • Over 450 members of the South Australian Disability Engagement Group. This includes people with lived experience of disability, family members and their support networks.
  • Over 150 members of the South Australian 'digital inclusion and A11y accessibility' meetup group.
  • Office for Ageing Well, Department for Health and Wellbeing.
  • Government Digital Experience Division team, Government of British Columbia (Canada).
  • Blind Citizens Australia (SA)
  • Royal Society for the Blind (SA)

Every item of feedback reviewed from the consultation and improvements made.

Feedback

Feedback was overwhelmingly positive from all levels of government and the community.

Through our consultation we learnt people preferred easy read compared to our traditional policy format.

We also identified:

  • broader benefits for the community
  • how government policy design can be improved

Compare our traditional policy to easy read

We also have a downloadable version: easy read guide using pictures to support words (PDF, 5.3 MB)

Reusable HTML/web page solution

The Office for Digital Government has developed an easy read HTML/web page template.

This was developed through working with:

  • Information Access Group
  • Accessibility Design Team, Department for Work and Pensions (UK Government)
  • Vision Australia

The solution can now be used by all South Australian Government agencies using Website Design System.

Have your say and help us improve

Tell us what you think, complete our feedback form:

  • contribute by telling us what you like or do not like about our easy read guide
  • tell us if something is wrong or out of date

You can also: