Australian Communications Consumer Action Network

Government ICT Purchasing: What differences do accessibility criteria make for people with disabilities?

Government ICT Purchasing: What differences do accessibility criteria make for people with disabilities? is a project undertaken by Dr Will Tibben of the University of Wollongong and Gunela Astbrink of GSA Information Consultants that collected the latest available information about accessibility in ICT government purchasing in OECD countries and examined steps that need to be taken for ICT public procurement in Australia. The project was funded under the 2011 round of the ACCAN Grants Scheme.

Four principal methods were applied to the research design: systematic analysis, benchmarking, case study and focus groups. English language sources from OECD member countries were used to benchmark countries in relation to their use of ICT accessibility criteria in public procurement, which, in turn, identified cases for in-depth case study analysis. The experiences of people with disabilities in obtaining appropriate ICT workplace modifications were explored using focus groups made up of people with disabilities and representatives from disability organisations in Australia. Interviews were also conducted with key stakeholders fr om government and industry.

Project outcomes

The research synthesised world's best practice with local knowledge drawn from Australian stakeholders and sets out an analysis of the various policies and practices across the world.  This report will help people with disabilities to be more informed about global progress on accessibility and public procurement of ICTs. The report also outlines a set of recommendations that address the fundamental challenge of developing ICT accessibility as a new area of knowledge. It argues that processes need to be put in place to encourage learning within a diverse range of communities: people with disabilities, disability liaison officers, designers, manufacturers, vendors, IT support staff, and others.

In addition to the research report, an advocacy toolkit has been produced that can be used to promote the increased availability of accessible equipment and services.

A sample letter for use in writing to your government representative is also available for download.

ACCAN will make the report and toolkit available for disability advocacy groups around Australia. Please contact us if you would like a hard copy.

All materials are also readily available online at: http://www.accan.org.au/publicprocurement

Download:  Accessible Communications: Tapping the potential in public ICT procurement policy [Word Document - 1.35 MB]

Download:  Accessible Communications: Tapping the potential in public ICT procurement policy [Adobe Acrobat PDF - 1.96 MB]

Download:  Advocacy Toolkit [Word 2007 Document - 53.09 KB]

Download:  Advocacy Toolkit [Adobe Acrobat PDF - 1.51 MB]

Download:  Letter for disability advocates [Word Document - 28.5 KB]