Standards and policy

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the primary international standards organisation for the World Wide Web, introduced the Web Access Initiative (WAI) to address accessibility issues faced by people with disabilities. 

WAI produces strategies, guidelines and resources to help make the Web accessible to people with disabilities. These guidelines include the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) for making Web content that is accessible to people with disabilities, and the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) for making authoring tools that are more accessible to authors with disabilities as well as to design to enable, support, and promote the production of accessible web content by all authors.

The Australian Government and the Human Rights Commission have endorsed WCAG 2.0, making it the recognised web accessibility standard for all Australian websites.

The Australian Government’s Web Accessibility National Transition Strategy states:

  • all federal, state and territory websites must meet WCAG 2.0 Single A level by December 2012
  • all federal websites must meet WCAG 2.0 Double A level by December 2014

The Disability Discrimination Act: Web Advisory notes released by the Human Rights Commission also endorse WCAG 2.0, stating:

  • Non-government websites and web resources whose development commences after July 1 2010 should comply with WCAG 2.0 to a minimum of AA-Level conformance;
  • Existing non-government websites or web resources that undergo substantial change in the period July 2010 – December 2013 should comply with WCAG 2.0 to a minimum level of AA conformance;
  • All existing non-government websites and web content should comply with WCAG 2.0 to a minimum level of AA conformance by December 31 2013.

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