Australian governments' access policies

Australian government departments and agencies are required to ensure that their media are accessible. This requirement is detailed in the Commonwealth Disability Strategy 1994 and the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA).

As the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) states in its Advisory Notes:

‘Commonwealth Government departments and agencies, and other organisations where they are involved in administration of Commonwealth laws and programs, do not have the benefit of an explicit unjustifiable hardship defence under the DDA. These organisations are required to provide equal access free from unreasonable barriers.’

All Australian Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments have policies that require their departments and agencies to provide at least one of a number of accessibility services including:

  • Captioning all television commercials and public information videos;
  • Providing information in a suitable accessible format, or providing an alternative format on request; and
  • Applying the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines to websites.

In particular, the Web Accessibility National Transition Strategy states:

‘Australian governments at all levels have endorsed WCAG 2.0, and require all government websites (federal, state and territory) to meet the new guidelines at the minimum compliance level (Single A) by the end of 2012. In addition, the Australian Government requires all federal websites to meet the medium conformance level (Double A) by the end of 2014’.

Commonwealth, state and territory access policies

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