Article Index


4 Methodology

This section briefly describes the process that was used to undertake the assessment and produce this report.

4.1 Sites assessed on Friday 13th June

The assessment of all the sites was completed on Friday the 13th of June 2014. The assessments are a snapshot of the state of the websites at that date.

Websites are in a continual state of change, they may have changed since the assessment date.

4.2 The assessment checkpoints

The following describes the checkpoints used in the assessment and where relevant the related Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) reference number.

4.2.1 Overall Findings

A description of our overall impression of the site’s accessibility and may include specific points of note.

4.2.2 Breadcrumbs / Sitemap

Breadcrumbs assist a user in understanding where they are within the website. A sitemap provides a single page from which a user may prefer to locate the information that they are looking for. (WCAG 2.0 2.4.5)

4.2.3 Hyperlinks visible

Are hyperlinks embedded in the text of the page easily visible? Easily visible means they have a distinct colour and are underlined. (WCAG 2.0 1.4.1)

4.2.4 Syntax

The sites were validated using the online W3C HTML validation tool. The behaviour of pages with valid syntax is more predictable when accessed by assistive technology. (WCAG 2.0 4.1.1)

4.2.5 Headline hierarchy

Navigation within a page and understanding the structure of a page, especially by screen readers, is facilitated by using Headline hierarchy - setting h1,h2,h3 etc elements in a proper hierarchy.  (WCAG 2.0 2.4.10)

4.2.6 Read more

The use of “Read More” links in some cases can be ambiguous to users of visual browsers but it is a significant problem to screen reader users who listen to a list of links and are unable to discern from listening to the link text ( just "Read More") what they will be linking to (WCAG 2.0 2.4.4)

4.2.7 Keyboard only

Some users are unable to access websites using a mouse (blind people or people unable to hold a mouse or hold it steadily). Websites need to be navigable and usable with the use of only a keyboard. (WCAG 2.0 2.1.1 & 2.1.2 & 1.4.1 & 2.4.1)

4.2.8 Colour Contrast

Users with vision impairments find text hard to read if there is insufficient contrast between the text and the text’s background. The text may be content or part of the site navigation.(WCAG 2.0 1.4.3)

4.2.9 Alt text

Images present visual information to site visitors. If the visitor is unable to see the image, then “alt text” associated with the image provides an alternative text way of communicating that visual information. (WCAG 2.0 1.1.1)

4.2.10 NZSL Video

New Zealand Sign Language is an official language of New Zealand. Providing NZSL videos enables Deaf people to access information in their native language. (partially WCAG 2.0 1.2.6)

4.2.11 Video/captions/transcripts

Some users (poor literacy) prefer to get their information by video and spoken word – video can provide that. Where video is used, captions provide the information to deaf viewers and transcripts provide access to users unable to access the video players. (WCAG 2.0 1.2.4 & 1.2.9)

4.2.12 Rich Experience

Does the website provide a range of content styles (text, images, sound, video)? Presenting content in different formats helps people who have difficulty with text-based content.  A common view of accessibility is that it’s all about making a website accessible for blind users and access by screen readers and this can lead to text-heavy sites that are inaccessible for people with poor literacy and reading/learning difficulties.

4.3 Scope

The scope of the assessments was limited to ten registered political parties. These include all parties currently represented in parliament.