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ACCAN welcomes today’s release of the Australian Government Web Accessibility National Transition Strategy by the Minister for Finance and Deregulation, Lindsay Tanner, and Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities, Bill Shorten.

The Strategy outlines the steps that need to be taken to ensure all government web sites are compliant with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 to its second highest AA level by 2015.

WCAG 2.0 is an internationally recognised standard in the accessibility of web sites for people with disabilities, which outlines 12 guidelines that help to improve the functionality and design of web site content.

“Accessible government web sites will have a significant impact on the lives of consumers with disabilities by allowing them to connect to government online, access information and fully participate in civic life,” said ACCAN CEO Allan Asher.

“We applaud Mr Tanner and Mr Shorten for their demonstration of the government’s commitment to the equal rights of people with disabilities by taking these important steps towards a more socially inclusive society.”

ACCAN continues to call on the private sector to follow the lead of the government and implement WCAG 2.0 standards for their web sites.

“With 4 million people or 20 per cent of the population having a disability in Australia, the private sector must recognise that they are potentially excluding a large part of their customer base,” Mr Asher said.

Mr Asher said improving web site accessibility gave consumers with disabilities the opportunity to be equal participants in the digital information age.

ACCAN has just released its blueprint for inclusive communications, a report titled Connecting us all: the role of the National Disability Strategy. The consumer group believes the report should form part of the ten-year National Disability Strategy (currently being drafted).

Click here for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0
Click here for the government's Web Accessibility Transition Strategy

Download: Media Release.pdf [Adobe Acrobat PDF - 39.18 KB]
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