The governments ICT strategy was launched yesterday. Maybe I was looking in the wrong places, but I expected to see a bit more publicity heralding the event. As it was I saw nothing. Same again today. Not the BBC news, or Technology pages, no mention in the Guardian Online. So I turned to Google and eventually, after following several links to non-government pieces referring to it, I finally arrived at http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/cio/ict.aspx
My point is on the one hand we have a government promoting digital inclusion and on the other it doesn’t seem to be aware of what it’s like to be digitally excluded. Having to search to find its own ICT Strategy suggests it’s not that bothered about it being found. In digital Britain, it won’t be enough to have access, it’s not even the skills and the confidence that makes the difference. It’s the format in which digital information is provided and promoted.
Once you get there then Write to Reply encourages audience participation and the text enlarges well – although if you were unfamiliar with the format then navigation becomes problematic. I’d like to see the statutory button called Accessibility. Even if it can’t offer anything alternative it would at least show awareness of the issues. The home page graphic has no meaningful Alt text; ‘Wordle’ doesn’t count; it means nothing if you are unfamiliar with the concept. Again, sometimes it’s what you don’t do that often says more about you that what is done.