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City of Seattle is a finalist for Smart Cities Award for Digital Equity and Accessibility: Your vote is needed!

The City of Seattle has been named a finalist in the IDC Government Insights Smart Cities North America Awards in the Digital Equity and Accessibility category. This award recognizes Seattle Information Technology’s Digital Engagement Team for its Inclusive Design Initiatives.

“The Smart Cities awards showcase how the public sector is creatively using technology, community engagement and ecosystem partners to provide secure, effective, efficient, and perhaps most importantly, sustainable and equitable services,” said Ruthbea Yesner, Vice President, IDC Government Insights, Education and Smart Cities.

The Digital Engagement Team has been building education and awareness around digital accessibility standards and human-centered design since its inception in 2017. They are a cross-functional team that manages products that are typically the public’s first digital interaction point, such as the website, blogs, newsletters, and social media. In addition, they establish the City’s digital style guide, digital policies, and user experience (UX) strategy. They advocate for the public by ensuring that diverse needs are accounted for when designing and implementing a technology application, from internet bandwidth to language barriers, to various types of disabilities.

“Inclusive design has been a focus of our digital services for several years. Our progress is most evident on the website and, as the enthusiasm and adoption grows, we’re looking forward to seeing improvements across all public-facing web applications at the City,” said Michal Perlstein, senior manager of digital engagement.

Seattle is the only city in the Northwest to be nominated as a finalist in any of the 14 categories. The nominees in the Digital Equity and Accessibility category (e.g. Public WiFi, Accessibility Services, ADA Compliance) include:

• Inclusive Design Initiatives at the City of Seattle – Seattle, WA

• Irving Parks Public Wi-Fi – Irving, TX

• Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport – Erlanger, KY

• Surge LinkTM: Equitable Broadband Access – Syracuse, NY

As a next step in the nomination process, IDC invites the public to vote on the named finalists at Voting will be open through Friday, March 8. Winners will be announced on March 27 and honored at Smart Cities Connect on May 7-10 in Raleigh, NC.