Website checktheregister.ie must be fully accessible for those with disabilities, a Fine Gael Senator has said.
Clare Senator Martin Conway highlighted the lack of wide-ranging accessibility features on the platform.
Senator Conway said, “All Government websites must be accessible in accordance with European Union (Accessibility of Websites and Mobile Applications of Public Sector Bodies) Regulations 2020. While the site is wholly compliant, it still lacks key features that aid those with disabilities, some of which are listed under the sites ‘non-accessible content’.
“Tools such as Job Access with Speech (JAWS), which provides speech assistance, would transform this site for those with vision loss. Innovation is needed when it comes to enhancing accessibility.
“Government websites should set the standard and act as leaders when it comes to digital accessibility. Registering to vote is a constitutional right and everybody should have the same ease of getting on the electoral register.
“If a physical polling station was inaccessible to those who are mobility impaired, people would be rightly critical and demand change. Digital platforms are just as essential.
“As a society we are trying to encourage and enable people with disabilities to participate in political life and this starts with the access to register to vote online independently.
“I have raised this matter with my Fine Gael colleague and Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government and Planning, Peter Burke, who is working to rectify the situation. Additionally, I plan on reaching out directly to checktheregister.ie this week to raise my concerns,” concluded Senator Conway.