Seattle/ Science, Tech & Medicine
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Published on April 03, 2024
Seattle Scores Top Honors for Digital Equity and Accessibility in Smart Cities AwardsSource: The City of Seattle

Seattle's taken home a win in the smart city stakes, bagging the Smart Cities North America Award (SCNAA) for Digital Equity and Accessibility. This city's movers and shakers have been putting their backs into making sure that when it comes to the digital realm, everyone's invited to the party—no one's left peering through the window.

It's the Seattle Information Technology Department that's been hustling to line up their ducks in a row, ensuring that the city's online face is both approachable and useful to all. They've got their eyes on the prize, sticking to the rulebook while also aiming to reflect the sense of fairness and inclusion that folks expect from their government. According to a post by TechTalk, Jim Loter, the interim Chief Technology Officer of Seattle Information Technology, boasted, "Through the Digital Engagement team’s work in human-centered design approach and time-tested research, those who come to Seattle digital properties benefit from hard work and passion."

The city's got its eye on the finer details, too. They aren't just whistling Dixie about this stuff; they're revamping everything from the ground up, from design standards to privacy measures. Michal Perlstein, head honcho of the award-winning digital engagement team, told TechTalk, "Inclusive design has been a focus of our digital services for several years. Our progress is most evident on the website."

This is about more than some plaque to hang on the wall. It's recognition of the city's commitment to making sure that no one's left scratching their head trying to navigate the maze of the online world. Holly Delcambre, ADA Title II Compliance Program Manager, Equity and Policy, praised the team's efforts, saying, "Your investment in educating City staff about the importance of digital accessibility has increased awareness tenfold." She highlighted how this kind of inclusive thinking is essential for folks with disabilities, especially as the city gears up for Global Accessibility Awareness Day in May.

The SCNAA awards are kind of like the Olympics for the tech-savvy city planners, a place where the best of what our urban spaces have to offer is put under the spotlight. Ruthbea Yesner, bigwig at IDC Government Insights and Smart Cities and Communities Strategies, gave props to Seattle and other winners, driving home the point that these are the projects that are shaping our cities into something we can all be proud of. It's all about making the city life better—more sustainable, more accessible, more economically vibrant. Seattle's digital engagement team seems to be nailing it, tweaking the way the city talks to the people to make sure the conversation's crystal clear.

Seattle-Science, Tech & Medicine