Typical Government Response? Yup.

A recent government epetition read:

“We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to ensure that any website launched by the government complies with accessibility standards (WCAG AA at least).”

The response?

“The Government is committed to ensuring that all government websites are accessible and easy to use for people with disabilities.

Action 7 of the Prime Minister’s Digital Strategy is to ‘improve accessibility to technology for the digitally excluded and ease of use for the disabled’.

This strategy is to be implemented by DTI with support from OGC and eGU (now the Cabinet Office Delivery and Transformation Group). A cross-government review of the Digital Strategy is currently under way under the supervision of the DTI).”

Firstly, how is this responding to the petition? And given that this petition came about because of the perceived failure of the DTI to get its house in order with regards web accessibility, what do we think about their ability to implement and supervise this?

Or have a totally mis-read this reply. Please tell me I have!

The epetition text, right here …

Filed under: Accessibility, Government
Posted by Ian on Tuesday, March 20, 2007


  1. So says Matt Round

    The governments web projects I worked on in my former day job weren’t perfect but always had to meet the required accessibility standards, which was sometimes quite frustrating, as we’d see larger IT consultancies getting away with delivering sites with horrendous code and scripting/browser dependencies. The rules certainly weren’t enforced consistently.

    Added March 20, 2007 at 9:44 am

  2. So says Toni Ruckwood

    I too signed the petition and got the email reply you’re talking about.

    Unfortunately, you did read it right. You did’nt really expect a straight answer from a politician did you?

    Added March 20, 2007 at 10:09 am

  3. So says dotjay

    They took long enough to reply to the petition - it took a few weeks after the petition closed - and their response didn’t address the main point of the petition: to ensure that future implementations are actually accessible. The current strategies are obviously not good enough, else the problematical DTI website would never have come about.

    Added March 21, 2007 at 9:46 am

  4. So says dotjay

    I’ve posted further thoughts over on my blog:
    Government responds to website accessibility e-petition

    Added March 21, 2007 at 11:05 am

  5. So says Bob

    Yep, I signed up too and received a somewhat dismissive and typically sidestepping politician’s reply. Very poor, but what can one do, even collectively? Perhaps they’d pay attention if someone were to sue for being discriminated against by exclusion.

    Added April 4, 2007 at 5:16 pm

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.