12 December 2016

Focus on accessibility and style

The Energy Rating team is continually working to improve the GEMS registration service for our stakeholders.

Users of the Registration Database may have noticed some functionality changes in the site of late. This is because we have made the site WCAG compliant. WCAG means Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, and it is a requirement of all Commonwealth government websites.

Practically, this means that the website is now able to be used more effectively by people with disabilities. Most software designed to assist people with disabilities (e.g. Dragon Reader) can now be used with the registration site. Colour contrasts have been improved for vision impaired users, as well as a host of other accessibility changes.

With these changes come improvements for all users that will increase the useability of the website, chiefly the ability to tab between entry fields instead of using the mouse to click in each new entry field. All of these WCAG changes are complete and are now live on the registration site.

As a related part of this project, the searchable GEMS registration database has had a facelift, which is also WCAG compliant. Instead of E3 Program branding, the database now features GEMS Regulator and EECA (NZ) branding and a new more user friendly interface. All of the old search and data interrogation features are still there - they are now just easier to use and more visually appealing.

If you have any concerns or comments about these changes, please contact us: energyrating@environment.gov.au.