Australian Government announces Web Accessibility National Transition Strategy

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Earlier this week the Australian Government unveiled its strategy to bring Australian Government websites into the Web 2.0 era in an e-inclusive way, fully embracing modern accessibility standards.

From the Government:

The Web Accessibility National Transition Strategy sets a course for improved web services, paving the way for a more accessible and usable web environment that will more fully engage with, and allow participation from, all people within our society.

Accessibility has been a government priority for a number of years. With the release of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.0 (WCAG 2.0), developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the Australian Government is poised to improve the provision of information and services online.

WCAG 2.0 sets an improved level of accessibility, to cater to the needs of a constantly evolving and increasingly dynamic web environment. As the government embraces Web 2.0, and employs more citizen-centric tools to engage with the public, our commitment to accessibility increases.

Indeed, the implementation of W3C guidelines for Australian Government websites is not new; WCAG is the internationally recognised benchmark for website accessibility. However, this is an important milestone for government, and for people accessing government information. Never before have we embarked upon such a significant effort to improve website accessibility, delivered on a whole-of-government basis, with strengthened governance and reporting arrangements in-built.

The next few years present great challenges and opportunities to government, through the implementation of WCAG 2.0. These will be overcome and celebrated in collaboration with our peers across portfolios, jurisdictions and governments around the world.

I hope you will join me on this journey.

Ann Steward
Australian Government Chief Information Officer
Australian Government Information Management Office
Department of Finance and Deregulation
June 2010

Unfortunately the release itself is on an inaccessible website.

Webdragon looks forward to continuing its work with government departments at all levels to help realise their goals in the key area of web accessibility.

For more information, read the official release (opens in new window), or read more about accessibility and accessibility validation.

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