icare enhances website accessibility

A new suite of accessibility enhancements launch on the icare website.

A lady with glasses on is looking at a laptop with headphones on.

icare has launched a suite of website accessibility enhancements to ensure people living with a disability and members of the culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities have an easy experience when visiting icare.nsw.gov.au.

“Our goal is to provide our customers with an experience that is respectful and empathetic every time they interact with us. Over 10,000 customers visit the icare website each week so ensuring it is accessible to those for whom English is a second language and to people living with disability is a fundamental part of our ethos,” said icare General Manager for Customer, Digital & Brand, Julie Starley.

icare delivers insurance and care services covering 3.7 million workers, builders and road users across NSW. Each year, over 60,000 workers and road users are severely injured and require long term support and care as they live with the resulting permanent impairment or disability. 

According to 2016 census data, in NSW over 25% of households speak a language other than English. 

“The latest enhancements address a wide range of usability needs for people with disabilities, impairments and medical conditions, as well as CALD communities. They demonstrate the importance we place on customer needs and are the latest in a continual process of accessibility improvements being made,” Ms Starley said.

Enhancements include:

  • The option to change text form for users with low vision or learning difficulties;
  • High contrast and ‘Night Mode’ settings, which change or invert Web page background and text colours for users with low vision or other visual disabilities; 
  • A bespoke text-to-speech tool on all content pages; and
  • The ability to translate website content into 27 languages.

Since launching in February, the text-to-speech tool has been utilised over 850 times.  Approximately 130 online visitors have used the Night Mode and High Contrast features of the website, while a language selection other than English has been made over 500 times, with Chinese making up 280 of those translations.  

“Delivering real outcomes and benefits to people living with disability and CALD communities are priorities in our Inclusion and Diversity Strategy 2017-19. The new enhancements improve this significantly but there is still more to do,” Ms Starley said.

“We’re continuing to look for new and innovative ways to go above and beyond the baseline requirement of Level AA Even though the enhancements have been built in accordance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG),” Ms Starley said.

The icare website also features text size scaling, and alternative textual descriptions and metadata, allowing non-text content to be interpreted by assistive technologies. The website navigation tools have also been designed to support users with limited dexterity and/or visual impairment, and structured headings and sub headings have been introduced with clear relationships to content.