Each day, thousands of taxpayers use MyPhillyWaterBill to make online payments for water and sewer services, meter repairs and HELP loans. We understand how important it is that all Philadelphians have access to the tools and resources they need to pay for City services, especially during a health emergency.
That’s why The Water Revenue Bureau (WRB) has updated its MyPhillyWaterBill site to make it more accessible to all water customers, especially customers with disabilities.
We talked to Alina Nitsa, the Associate Project Manager for the Office of Innovation and Technology, about the new changes to MyPhillyWaterBill, and why this project is so important to the Water Revenue Bureau.
Why does the Water Revenue Bureau care about accessibility?
It’s important to ensure that Philadelphians with disabilities –including limited vision, hearing, and others– have the same opportunities as any other water customer. WRB generates a paper water bill in large or braille print for customers who need it. Most recently we enhanced MyPhillyWaterBill to meet the Americans with Disabilities Act. This makes it easier for our customers who use screen readers to navigate our ebilling site.
What has been changed to make the MyPhillyWaterBill more accessible?
Screen readers convert digital text into synthesized speech. We updated the labeling on our digital content so that it is converted properly. Our team also:
- Updated navigational prompts to be more specific,
- Added button labels for payment and notification options, and
- Adjusted text colors for better visibility.We also modified the layout and functionality of the service address drop down. This allows screen readers to identify the call to action, a particularly important update for those customers who have more than one property.
If a resident has an accessibility issue with one of our paper forms or website, who should they contact?
For any questions on accessibility or the MyPhillyWaterBill site, customers should email MyPhillyWaterBillHelp@phila.gov or call the Philadelphia Water Department Contact Center at (215) 685-6300.
Have there been any other accessibility upgrades due to the COVID-19 health emergency?
In these uncertain times, where many of us are confined to our homes, the team wanted to ensure that customers had access to self-service options and could find answers to their water bill payment questions online. We prioritized the release of a Help section that allows customers to find answers to frequently asked questions. The MyPhillyWaterBill Help site was developed with accessibility in mind.
Are there plans to further enhance MyPhillyWaterBill in terms of accessibility?
The MyPhillyWaterBill team is continuously working to improve the customer experience for all of our customers. Any update to the site is reviewed for accessibility and ease of navigation using screen readers. Our goal is to maintain the MyPhillyWaterBill site to the latest standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act.