Vicnet was recently announced as the winner of the Best Diversity Intiative for the inaugural Australia & New Zealand Internet Best Practice Award. This prestigous international award recognises a significant body of work that the State Library of Victoria through Vicnet has done to promote and facilitate use of the web by the many communities that have a limited presence on the web. As part of its activities Vicnet has identified the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities to be of particular concern, with seniors and new and emerging communities recognised as some of those most vulnerable to digital exclusion.
Research has shown that speakers of languages other than English have great difficulty navigating sites when they must first negotiate in another language. This is particularly the case for new users of the internet. Vicnet has been recognised for significantly improving the online experience of CALD communities through:
- The development of online programs to facilitate access and delivery of multilingual content (MyLanguage, Open Road and CALD Senior Surfers); and,
- The development of research aimed at raising the access to multilingual web content (Community Languages Online, New Communities Emerging Content Report and the Vicnet/ Monash University Translation and Technology Project);
- The delivery of social inclusion ICT projects for government including community training and internet access. (CALD Senior Surfers, Skills.Net Roadshow, and PIAP.).
For more about the AuDA Best Practice Awards, visit http://bestpracticeawards.org.au/.