In 2013, the Australian Human Rights Commission will release a new website to meet the international standard Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0).
Websites pose particular problems to many people with disability. For example, sites may rely on users having a mouse to click on a menu, or images that contain text may not have an alternative description that allows blind users with a screen reader to understand the information. Websites that are inaccessible risk attracting complaints under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth).
Through its Information Management Office (AGIMO), the Australian Government developed a whole-of-government transition deadline for the new standard, which is that accessibility should be implemented to the first level of compliance by the end of 2012 and a higher level by 2014. This transition will greatly benefit many users with disability.
To meet the standard on our main website, the Commission is building a new website using the Drupal 7 Content Management System. This will allow us to both maintain the site in an accessible manner and integrate interactive components, such as blogs and events that we currently manage with other systems, into the site.
Building a more accessible website, rather than trying to patch up the existing one, will provide a better service for our users within a short time period.
Following a number of construction delays, the Commission’s Drupal 7 website is now due to go live in March 2013. However, the Commission regrets that this will not meet the December 2012 transition date.
The Commission commends those agencies who have met the first milestone in the National Transition Strategy and we look forward to joining you shortly.
More information: Humanrights.gov.au Accessibility Implementation Plan