New grant aimed at raising the bar for web accessibility
This week we have opened a new grant round to support website accessibility in Aotearoa.
Why we’re doing this
This grant is a little different for us. We’ve always excluded funding website development or upgrades. However, over the last couple of years, we’ve changed how we run grants so that we can offer more support to anyone looking to apply. This has enabled more opportunities for us to listen to our community.
It turns out that web-accessibility is a need that we have heard over and over again, so we thought it was high time we did something about it. Accessibility should be considered from the start. It’s something that InternetNZ needs to improve on, so we’re committed to doing that, and helping others too.
How buying .nz means you can make a difference
Our funding comes from the sale of .nz domain names, such as site.co.nz, site.nz, site.govt.nz. That means anyone who has a website ending in .nz, contributes to all the amazing positive public impact work that happens because of this funding.
We support an Internet that is accessible and inclusive, which is why this year, we are using a part of our .nz domain sales revenue to improve web accessibility in Aotearoa.
Why accessibility matters
From the user's perspective, access needs can include visual, physical, auditory, cognitive, and linguistic limitations, as well as the impact of learning impairments, mental health, neurodiversity, language processing and communication issues. They can be permanent, temporary, or situational. Whether you have low vision or you’re new to the country and still learning English, you should be able to use whatever website you want.
From the perspective of people running a website, your goals may vary. But if your website isn’t fully accessible, you will be excluding people.
We would love to see the bar raised across all .nz domain names so that we can be proud that .nz is inclusive and empowering. We see it as an equity issue and paramount to making the Internet in Aotearoa, something that can benefit everyone.
What this grant round will fund
The aim of the game is to make your website accessible.
We’re open to funding new or existing websites. The funding can go towards technical remediations, development or design that will ensure your website is in line with or above the standard of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1. Your organisation might pay an external supplier or you might decide to train members of your team so that you can continue to ensure your website is accessible longterm.
Alternatively, the core purpose of your organisation might be better served by translating your content. For example, in your kaupapa you may work to empower former refugee populations and need to make the content available in a variety of different languages. Or perhaps making it Easy Read format will better support the people you serve.
Priority will be given to applications by charitable organisations that are disability led and serve disabled people | tangata whaikaha, and whakapapa Māori organisations. You can apply for up to $10,000, any time from now until Friday 15 December.