Making e-government accessible in Croatia
By AL for APC
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, 30 July 2008
In late 2007 ZaMirNET organised a national workshop with representatives of government agencies, academia and the business sector to exchange information about current e-government initiatives, as part of the Inclusive e-Government Network project. The Croatian government has been investing significant resources in the development of various e-services, and ZaMirNET wanted to point out the lack of compliance with recognised standards of web accessibility, which is prejudicing people with visual impairments.
Only the latest portal undertaken by the Central Administrative Office for e-Croatia actually complies with world-wide standards, while the websites of agencies such as the Croatian Employment Service and various ministries still use formats that computer screen-readers cannot decode. As a result, people with visual impairments who use screen-reading software cannot fully access websites and students have complained of lost job opportunities.
However, there appears to be interest from the business sector in developing computer training methodology and materials, both printed and interactive, adapted to the needs of people who are blind or partially sighted.