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City improves website for those with vision disabilities, dyslexia

By Patrick Lynn

The City of Stevens Point on Tuesday announced it has added new technology to its website to help the vision-impaired access municipal information.

The city installed AudioEye on its website in early 2019, according to a news release from John Quirk, community media manager for Stevens Point. AudioEye is a “leader in digital accessibility solutions that ensure barrier-free website access for individuals with disabilities,” Quirk said.

“Many individuals with disabilities utilize assistive technologies when browsing the web,” Quirk’s email read. “For example, someone who is blind relies upon a screen reader to read online content. If a website isn’t properly coded, the screen reader is not able to seamlessly read the online content for the individual, thereby impeding their access to that site’s information. AudioEye ensures the City’s web site is properly encoded for screen readers.”

AudioEye’s certified accessibility professionals will constantly test for, discover, and remediate any new issues, and will continuously monitor and re-validate the site’s accessibility, Quirk added.

AudioEye offers an accessibility toolbar which can be activated by selecting the AudioEye icon at the bottom right-hand side of the web site. The toolbar allows users to customize the site based on their individual preferences, enhancing usability for all site visitors.

The toolbar lets users who are color blind change the color contrast, enables users who are dyslexic to change the font type, helps users with low-vision change the font size, and more.

The toolbar also includes a help desk feature for those users who may experience any other accessibility barrier, Quirk said.

Mayor Mike Wiza said the city is always “striving to provide more and better access to our municipal government. AudioEye will allow us to monitor and improve that access for those citizens with different needs.”