Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Web accessibility and Government 2.0

The Australian Human Rights Commission has released its submission to the Government 2.0 Taskforce. The commission is not keen on PDF and recommends the W3C accessibility guidelines.The Sydney 2000 Olympics web case is described in the submission and my seminar notes for the Oxford University Computing Laboratory are cited.
  1. The Commission believes that government departments and agencies need to improve their provision of equal access to public information, especially for people with disability.

  2. Departments and agencies can improve their web presences by following the standards promoted by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) and the Commission.

  3. Basic web accessibility is mandatory for Australian Government departments and agencies. Allowing sites to be launched that are inaccessible risks complaints under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA).

  4. The Commission recognises the value of Web 2.0 technologies for collaboration with the community, however many of these technologies are not currently accessible for people with disability. Government departments and agencies should provide sufficient technologies to allow participation for all.

  5. Additionally, the Commission believes that online forums developed by the Government should have adequate agency guidelines and Acceptable Use Policies to enable moderators and developers of forums to be alert to discrimination that may occur online. This will help to foster a discrimination-free environment when engaging with the community.

Summary from: Web accessibility and Government 2.0, Australian Human Rights Commission submission to the Government 2.0 Taskforce – Towards Government 2.0 an issues paper, 1 October 2009

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