Margaret Stevens, a local advocate for people with disabilities, recently wrote a letter to the Maroondah Journal, confirming that people with disabilities would benefit from being able to communicate with Councillors via the web and blogs.
I wrote the following in response to Margaret’s letter to encourage other councillors, as well as prospective candidates, to embrace the Internet as a communication tool to assist all people in being able to communicate with council.
Margaret Stevens is correct in her comments where she stated that an active web presence, through a website and blog, would assist Councillors in engaging all people in our community, including people with disabilities.
The Internet, through accessible web standards, means we can truly create a medium that can be experienced and accessed by all people. Screen readers, larger font fonts, and other technologies are available to assist people with disabilities to view content on the Internet.
Just as mobile phones are now considered essential equipment for Councillors, no doubt a web presence will be seen as a necessity shortly into the future. Councillors have an obligation to remain relevant and to keep pace with new technologies that will assist our community.
I certainly plan to continue my blog at www.alexmakin.com.au so I can document the activities I undertake as a Councillor and the many wonderful community groups I meet.
I encourage my council colleagues and candidates to follow this lead and set up their own blogs so that our community can benefit from the dialogue we can provide.
It is great to see that Cr. Jo-anne Taylor has recently established a website to encourage dialogue with all members of the community.