Web Standards Self-Assessments
Self-assessment helps government agencies understand how accessible and easy to use their websites are, and what the main user experience issues are.
In 2017, 30 of 33 government agencies self-assessed their own websites to see how accessible and easy to use their services are for New Zealanders.
The 2017 Web Standards Self-Assessments Report provides an overview of the results submitted by agencies, identifies the top issues and trends, and proposes recommendations to address some of the challenges raised.
In 2017, the 3 persistent Web Standards issues across government websites were:
- providing text that describes image content to people who cannot see images
- making all functionality on web pages work for people using a keyboard instead of a mouse
- creating headings correctly to structure content so that it’s easy for people to find what they need.
The 2017 Self-Assessment Methodology (SAM) aimed to:
- raise staff knowledge and skill with regard to the NZ Government Web Standards
- identify accessibility and other Web Standards issues for prioritisation and fixing by agencies
- report existing issues to get management support for training, remediation and resources
- test web content built by external companies for common accessibility issues
- reduce the effort involved in testing and identifying common Web Standards issues
- test throughout a website’s lifecycle to make sure it remains accessible.
The Self-Assessment tests were developed by representatives from the disability community and from Government agencies with specialist knowledge of user-centred website design.
Compliance with WCAG
The 2017 Self-Assessment tested several — but not all — issues that are covered in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.
WCAG 2.0 formed the basis of the NZ Government Web Accessibility Standard 1.0. The current Web Accessibility Standard 1.1 refers to the more recent WCAG version 2.1.
Background to the NZ Government Web Standards Self-Assessments
The NZ Government Web Standards are mandated and agencies must self-assess their websites, if asked to do so.
Each agency submits a report on how well it’s meeting the Standards and a plan for fixing any issues.
Government agencies submitted Self-Assessments in 2011, 2014 and 2017.
The NZ Government Web Standards are made up of 2 separate standards, the Web Accessibility Standard and the Web Usability Standard.