Making Life Easier (GM’s Column 18 May 2019)

4 weeks ago | by

ReadSpeaker button logo

Council has recently implemented a new feature on our corporate website – www.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au – called ‘ReadSpeaker’.

In simple terms, this application (which can be used on any mobile device) converts the written text on our website to speech. The aim is to help those residents who prefer to hear text, to use our website as easily as possible.

Many people with a vision impairment have applications that do this for them, but there are a number of our customers who have difficulty consuming online content due to:

  • Low vision or colour blindness;
  • Learning disabilities, including dyslexia, ADHD, and autism;
  • Low literacy skills;
  • They are non-native speakers of a second language; or
  • They are seniors with limited literacy online.

ReadSpeaker’s goal is to help people that suffer from these impairments, but also to assist people who prefer not to read from small screens.

The application also has a function that allows website content to be translated into different languages.

This initiative is also in line with Council’s adopted Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP). The DIAP aims to help:

  • Develop positive community attitudes and behaviours;
  • Create liveable communities;
  • Support access to meaningful employment; and
  • Improve access to services through better systems and processes.

The overall goal of the Plan is to help ensure that people with a disability can have equal access to information, services and facilities provided by Council, can enjoy public spaces and be part of the public life of the community.

Council has a vital role to play in supporting people with a disability through compliance with Australian Standards for Disability Access in our infrastructure and working with relevant legislation.

Wherever we can, we also assist by adopting more accessible systems and processes and by promoting and fostering a culture where the inclusion of people with a disability is the norm.

 

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