One of the primary goals of the AustinGO project was to make a City website that was more usable and accessible to ALL Austinites.
The decision in early 2011 to embrace open source Drupal as AustinTexas.gov’s content management system was a big step in the right direction for accessibility.
Drupal is a great choice to create an accessible website – its community is passionate and actively engaged through ongoing development of accessible tools and modules. The Drupal board on the topic is a vibrant and continuous exchange of ideas. Everyone involved is committed to making Drupal a standard for accessible sites.
That drive is paralleled by the values of the AustinGO team – we’re committed to moving forward to create a best-practice website for accessibility, and incorporate accessibility standards in everything we do – from development to training.
It was a great experience to present to the committee and happily we didn’t hear about any major accessibility barriers or problems on the site. We think this is due to the fact that we planned from the beginning to have an accessible site and conducted extensive in-house accessibility testing before launch.
But we also know the site can still move forward on this vital topic. To ensure we stay on the cutting edge of new developments, we were happy to be reminded that AccessibilityU is taking place today and tomorrow at St. Edward’s University this week – and even happier to send one of our best and brightest team members there to participate. Next year, we will send even more. And the whole team is going to participate and follow the Drupal Accessibility group.
Thanks to all the commissioners and staff who invited us to speak and who are so committed to this issue! We don’t succeed – as a project team or a City – if we don’t embrace accessibility in everything.
We’ll work hard to make a site accessible for everyone, but we’ll always need help from the community to identify problems and show us the way.
Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you are aware of an accessibility issue on the site, and we’ll do our best to address it. Give us feedback in the comments section below, or fill out the feedback form available on the footer of every page in AustinTexas.gov.