WCAG 2.0 Compliance for all government sites by 2015

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The Australian Government has mandated Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 AA level for all government websites by 2015, with A level to be reached by 2012. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) originally outlined the WCAG 1.0, which was adopted by the Australian Government in 2000 allowing greater accessibility to the internet for people with disabilities. The 2.0 standard embodies the objective of the first and also implements new checkpoints to maintain currency with the ever changing world of online content. This includes closed captioning for video and audio streams, specific ratios of contrast between background and foreground colours, and text resizing without assistive technology etc.

There are a number of tools available online to assist you in ensuring your site complies with the WGAG 2.0 A and AA level guidelines:

There is no immediate urgency to comply with the new standard, and by all accounts it may be wise sticking with WCAG 1.0 for now. Policy makers still need to decide on the suitability of such technologies as PDF, Javascript, Flash and Java, which are highly prevalent in the online world. However all developers should be aware of the impending change and what it will mean to their business.

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