Accessible, Inclusive Technology Resources Earn Dutchess County New National Recognition

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Accessible, Inclusive Technology Resources
Earn Dutchess County New National Recognition

Poughkeepsie … Dutchess County Government has again been nationally recognized for its use of technology to improve how government connects with residents. The County’s Office of Central and Information Services (OCIS) has received two 2022 Government Experience Awards from the Center for Digital Government (CDG)—ranking third place nationwide among county governments for its overall technology experience and receiving a Project Experience award for its Moving Dutchess Forward website, which outlines the County’s 25-year plan to improve transportation in Dutchess County.

County Executive Marc Molinaro said, “This year’s awards from the Center for Digital Government highlight the dedication of the team at OCIS and our commitment to ensuring Dutchess County’s technology resources are efficient and user-centric, both for employees and residents. Congratulations to the OCIS team on this most recent accolade.”

The Government Experience Awards, now in its sixth year, highlight government agencies that are radically improving the experience of government services. Dutchess County was among only five other counties across the nation to receive an Overall County Government Experience Award for its commitment to accessibility, inclusiveness, and being citizen-centric, including:

  • The DutchessNY.gov website for its focus on accessibility, plain language practices, and inclusivity features such as the ReciteMe application, which allows visitors to customize the site to meet their needs through text-to-speech functionality, font adjustment for dyslexia, an interactive dictionary, a translation tool, and many other features;
  • The recently launched open data portal for Geographic Information System (GIS) data sets to be more easily accessible, which earned the County 5th place in the CDG 2022 Digital Counties Survey;
  • DutchessDelivery, the County’s public outreach tool that sends news releases, emergency updates and public advisories, upcoming events, and other important information to subscribers of numerous topics via email and/or text message; and
  • The Parks & Trails app for park enthusiasts and visitors to choose from nearly 200 parks and public use areas, as well as almost 400 miles of trails scattered throughout Dutchess County using keyword searches and up to 50 filter options, including available accessibility features, desired activities, or fitness goals. The site also features virtual 360-degree tours of each park.

Glenn Marchi, PhD, OCIS Commissioner, said, “Dutchess County Government continues to provide secure, efficient, and equitable digital experiences to residents and visitors alike, ensuring residents have ready access to the information they need.”

The County was also among 11 counties in the nation to receive a Project Experience Award for its long-range transportation plan website, MovingDutchessForward.com, developed on behalf of the Dutchess County Transportation Council. The website is the first digital presentation of the County’s transportation plan, which is reviewed every five years. The site was designed to be flexible, allowing users to easily digest and explore the Council’s findings, goals, and proposed future projects. This customizable approach allows residents to have an interactive experience, from dynamic mapping to data integration, as well as sharing comments on the plan as they explore.

“The government experience continues to be a major priority for state and local government agencies as they seek to rapidly meet new citizen and employee expectations,” said Dustin Haisler, Chief Innovation Officer for CDG. “It’s very inspiring to see agencies taking a human-centric approach to service delivery as leading agencies seek to incorporate digital equity, accessibility, and inclusion into the experiences they enable.”

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Author: Harlem Valley News