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#austinaccessibility #webaccessibility
July 3, 2022
3 minutes

Audit Report Indicates Austin’s Website Accessibility Progress is Too Slow

A recent report by the Office of the City Auditor has found that Austin is moving too slowly in terms of making its website accessible and useful to all residents, including disabled residents. 

Audits conducted in 2013 and 2017 outlined that the city needed to create a comprehensive plan related to updating its website, services offered and ensuring accessibility across the site. To date, only two of the four recommendations from the 2017 audit have been implemented. The services offered and accessibility are the two items that are yet to be addressed.  

Unfortunately, following another recent test of, it was found that performance has declined even further since the 2017 audit, mainly in these categories:

  1. Site intuitiveness
  2. Navigation
  3. Easy access to key information 

This means that over the last five years, not enough work has been done to address all accessibility issues present on the city’s website. 

Part of the report read, “While the city’s website still comes up short in meeting the requirements of three of four principles including perceivable, operable and understandable, some improvements have been made to make it usable with current and future tools or devices to assist people with all abilities.”

Following these findings, committee members have been informed that vendor proposals are currently being reviewed in an effort to make the site more accessible to non-English-speaking residents. This will be one of the first steps in making the Austin city website more accessible. 

Chief Information Officer, Chris Stewart, has also mentioned upgrades linked to the security of the site as well as search engine optimization. However, Mayor Pro Tem Alison Alter is pushing Stewart for more serious deadlines related to addressing accessibility concerns. 

“We do hear from constituents and community members pretty frequently expressing their frustration that the city website is difficult to navigate and it’s difficult to access information,” Alter said.

Stewart is currently working with the city’s communication staff and the office of technology management to speed up progress on the site. 

“We had a pilot site that was citizen- and resident-focused, and we had to make a decision and say that was our website and that’s where we want to put all of our attention. A lot has happened in the past year that has not happened in past years before. Scores are going up and I could be happier with the satisfaction of our website and the accessibility in particular.”


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