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Question

297. Deputy Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Justice the way her Department and public bodies and agencies under her remit are implementing Action 16 of the National Disability and Inclusion Strategy 2017-2021 (details supplied). [38496/21]

Answer

Minister for Justice (Deputy Heather Humphreys): I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department is committed to ensuring that accessibility is a core element in the design and build of our websites and systems by default. My Department regularly perform evaluations against the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) standard.
My Department's website will shortly be moving to Gov.ie, which is built and maintained by the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER). Accessibility is embedded into the design phase of all website migration projects.
My Department is also currently progressing a project to assess all other websites in its remit with a view to either retiring or migrating them to a more modern platform, with a built-in accessibility component for reading impairment.
I am informed that the Data Protection Commission (DPC) and Legal Services Regulatory Authority (LSRA) websites are regularly reviewed to ensure compliance with WCAG. In redeveloping its Online Legal Aid Application system in 2020, the Legal Aid Board followed the EU Directive on the Accessibility of Public Sector Websites and Mobile Applications.
An Garda Síochána is committed to achieving compliance with the harmonised European standard, EN 301 549 (Accessibility requirements for ICT products and services) which replicates the more commonly known Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1) and has made amendments accordingly, including updating the Accessibility Statement to reflect its level of compliance and providing information on how to provide feedback on the website.
Numerous changes have been made to ensure that the Garda website is accessible to all, including the provision of an accessibility assistive toolbar solution called Recite Me which allows website users to customise their experience on the site in a way that suits their needs. Recite Me provides features to enable accessibility such as text to speech functionality, customisable display and styling features, reading aids and a translation tool with over 100 languages, including 35 text to speech voices. The toolbar provides website users with greater accessibility with a PDF Reader solution.
The Garda website has also been updated to comply with the use of cookies in line with the GDPR requirements. The website uses cookies to enhance the browsing experience and to collect information about how visitors use the site, to improve the service.
The current Courts Service website was fully redesigned and launched in Summer 2020, and has been built from the ground up based on user needs, including extensive end user engagement and in line with the principles of universal design.
Within budget parameters, the Courts Service is iteratively updating external and internal digital touch points in a user-centric manner, to ensure that those who interact with its services can do so across a diverse range of abilities and preferences.
Through the Courts Service Modernisation Programme in 2021, capability and capacity has been increased in terms of service design, user interface, user experience and customer experience expertise to ensure that the modernisation and digital transformation of existing services are being carried out in a user-centric manner and will adhere to universal design principles and the Web Accessibility Directive.
Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) is committed to making its website accessible in accordance with the POUR (perceivable, operable, understandable, robust) principles outlined in SI No. 358/2020 and is working towards compliance with these principles in the current upgrade of content of its website.
The Irish Prison Service is committed to achieving a conformance level of triple-A WCAG on the irishprisons.ie website and compliance with the National Disability Authority IT Accessibility Guidelines.
Some of the website aids include keyboard shortcuts; documents in formats to enable easier reading and printing offline, navigation aids at the top each webpage to help with navigation, content and decorative images on website include ALT titles to explain the content or the purpose of the image in question. For colour-blind or partially sighted users there is a facility to increase and decrease the font size or override it completely, and site fonts and background colour combinations for the different colour-blindness conditions to ensure that items are not referenced by colour alone.
The Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) operates two websites, ISI.gov.ie and Backontrack.ie, a debtor-facing website used for ISI information campaigns. Work to make this website more accessible and user-friendly is underway and appropriate accessibility features and tools will be incorporated as part of that project.
All business applications developed for and used by the Legal Services Regulatory Authority are developed in accordance with the accessibility standards set out by the NDA and the recently redesigned website includes accessibility features.
In redeveloping its online Legal Aid Application system in 2020, the Legal Aid Board followed the POUR principles to make web content access easier. The Board's website currently has level AA conformance to the WCAG 2.0.
The Policing Authority has developed a highly accessible website with a conformance level of Triple-A and WCAG compliance as well as compliance with the Irish National IT Accessibility Guidelines.