Monday, August 12, 2013

AccessibilityOz Reporting Tool

The Australian company AccessibilityOz have just launched their new web accessibility tool "AccessibilityOz Reporting Tool" (OzART). This carries out W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) tests on website and provides advice on how to make the sites accessible by those with a disability.
AccessibilityOz claim that their tool can automatically test more of the WCAG guidelines than other tools, which require human interpretation.

Web accessibility for the disabled has been required by law in Australia for more than a decade and in many other countries. However, many web sites do not comply with guidelines. Perhaps it is time for an activist approach for dealing with the issue of unlawful discrimination. One way would be to produce a back end for AccessibilityOz's tool which would automatically prepare the documents for a class action against every organization which has a non-accessible web site.

There are precedents for consumer activism in Australia. The Australian Ethical Investments Advocacy Fund allows the public to invest a small amount which is used to buy shares in companies which are not acting ethically. Pressure can then be brought on the company at shareholders meetings to change their ways.

This same approach could be effective if the companies and government agencies with the worst one hundred websites were all taken to court over their illegal activities. Apart from the damages and court costs, organizations would then need to consider the negative publicity. Pressure could also be put on the senior executives, board CEOs and minsters responsible for these organizations to take responsibility for the unlawful actions of their organizations by resigning.

As well as the negative aspect, the top ten accessible websites could be singled out for praise, with their CEOs receiving a certificate.

No comments: