Government direct communication and the role of COI

Just had an initial read of, Permanent Secretary for Government Communication, Matt Tee’s review of Government direct communication and the role of COI.

A strategic theme based approach is something I’ve seen pushed at Departmental level before, where multi-faceted themes feel less obvious. It makes sense to also do this at the Government level.

It will be interesting to see what value for money and strengthened buying power can achieve.

Downloads (from Cabinet Office website).

Thinking accessibly

I recently attended a Web Accessibility Introduction and Awareness seminar run by the Central Office of Information (COI). The seminar was being run as a pilot as part of the Race Online 2012 campaign, headed by the UK’s Digital Champion Martha Lane Fox.

The campaign’s ambition is to make the UK the first nation in the world where everyone can use the web. 4 million of the 9 million people in the UK currently not online are among the most disadvantaged. 39% are over 65, 38% are unemployed and 19% are families with children.

Often poor online accessibility is a barrier to these very people having an enjoyable online experience. The seminar highlighted this brilliantly through a live demo with an assistive technology user, showing the huge impact that doing some quite simple and easy things can have on their user experience.

The day after, and back in work, I came across the usual problem of inaccessible content which requires publication on the web. In this instance it was with an organisation chart. Researching creating an accessible version on the web showed me that discussions of this type were being had in the US in 2001, ten years ago! Is the UK so far behind with regards thinking accessibly? If so, then the Race Online campaign, though clearly a worthy plan, is well overdue.

More information

ambition is to make the UK the first nation in the world where everyone can use the web.ambition is to make the UK the first nation in the world where everyone can use the web.