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SCULPT shortlisted for several local government awards

SCULPT for Accessibility logo Published Thursday, 31st March 2022

SCULPT for Accessibility, the County Council’s model for digital accessibility, is in contention to win several local government awards.

The model helps to educate staff how to ensure that documents are accessible for all to read.

The model has reached the finalist stage in the Local Government Chronicle (LGC) Awards in the category of Digital Impact.

It is also shortlisted in the Municipal Journal (MJ) Awards for the categories of both Workforce Transformation and Innovation in Building Diversity and Inclusion.

The model has gone from strength to strength in the last year, it was also a finalist in the Tech 4 Good Awards in 2021, in the Workforce Inclusion category.

SCULPT is an acronym for a set of simple skills to help people with the basics to create more inclusive documents that can be read by everyone, including those who use assistive technology.

Public body websites now have to adhere to the legal web accessibility guidelines, and the web team at the council are responsible for the digital accessibility compliance of the council’s websites and intranets.

SCULPT was developed to support these guidelines, and to help county council staff ensure any documents they create have the basics of accessibility applied before they were sent to residents or prepared for uploading onto the County Council website.

The SCULPT acronym is an easy-to-follow set of principles. The six principles are:

  • Structure of a document (using headings and styles)
  • Colour and Contrast
  • Use of Images
  • Links
  • Plain English
  • Table Structure (avoid split or merged cells)

Helen Wilson, Senior Web Development and Digital Content Designer, said:
“Colleagues have been extremely supportive of SCULPT, making documents accessible for use on a screen reader can actually be quite simple and can help avoid many unnecessary barriers and frustrations for users.

“For public bodies, digital accessibility on the web is a legal compliance that affects everyone across your organisation, not just your web team.  SCULPT was developed to form our whole workforce approach

"SCULPT is gaining momentum and our model is being recognised and used nationally, and that's something our whole organisation can be very proud of. If everyone hadn't taken their time to adopt and embrace new skills to support SCULPT, we wouldn’t be where we are now. We still have lots of work to do, but significant progress really has been made.”

Helen has even taken SCULPT right to the top of the County Council, meeting with Chief Executive Paul Robinson and Leader Simon Geraghty to reflect on how far we've come with SCULPT and plan how we can push it even further to create a more digitally inclusive Worcestershire.

Paul Robinson, Chief Executive of Worcestershire County Council added: "As we continue to move into an ever increasingly digital world – ensuring our documents are accessible for all is absolutely essential.

"SCULPT makes accessibility easy to understand and even easier to implement so there is no longer any excuse for inaccessible content here at WCC.

"I would like to personally thank Helen for her passion and dedication to accessibility."

For more information on SCULPT, please visit the SCULPT pages of the County Council website.