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Otago is bridging the digital disability divide with the launch of a new web accessibility tool.

Otago is opening its digital doors wider, with the launch of a cutting-edge, AI-powered accessibility tool.

Visitors to the Otago website can now access UserWay, a tool designed to make the website more user-friendly for people with disabilities. It is another first for Ōtākou Whakaihu Waka, as the only university in Aotearoa to roll out UserWay.

Otago’s Disability Information and Support Manager Melissa Lethaby is thrilled with the development.

“Otago is leading the way in promoting accessibility and setting a benchmark for other institutions.

“By integrating this tool, we are committing to providing an equitable online experience that adheres to global accessibility standards, making our content and services available to a broader audience,” she says.

UserWay’s technology significantly enhances the online experience for people with disabilities, offering users a range of accessibility enhancements while also automatically resolving any accessibility issues it detects on a site.

The easy-to-use UserWay widget will be available from any page on the website, through an icon on the bottom-right corner. Clicking the icon gives users access to a menu with functionality to change contrast and saturation, adjust font size and spacing, highlight links, and more.

The enhancements are user-driven, giving visitors the ability to tailor the look of the website to suit their specific requirements.

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The UserWay widget offers a range of options for people with disabilities to customise their website experience.

“These improvements make navigation and information consumption easier for users with visual, auditory, or cognitive impairments,” Melissa says.

“Ultimately, this fosters a more inclusive and supportive online environment, allowing everyone to engage with our resources effectively.”

Otago’s Marketing Director Hone Paul says implementing UserWay is another step towards achieving the University’s strategic goals.

“In improving accessibility for a wide range of our website’s users, we’re supporting the Pae Tata goal to transform our digital spaces to create value for students and staff.

“We also hope this effort towards improved equity lets future students know that they are all welcome at Otago.”

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