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section heading icon     overview

This guide considers questions about online accessibility, highlighting accessibility issues, standards and resources.

It complements the more detailed Design guide elsewhere on this site.

section marker     contents of this guide

The following pages cover -

  • issues - an overview of key issues and background documents
  • law - accessibility and anti-discrimination legislation, of increasing importance in Australia and overseas
  • standards - WCAG, WAC, PAS 78 and other global online accessibility standards and tools
  • studies and sizes -  writing about online accessibility and statistics on monitor sizes and other device questions
  • bodies -  government and other bodies concerned with web accessibility
  • checklist - a basic list of points, derived from the W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, for assessing barriers to use of your site
  • documents - comments on accessible PDFs and other formats
  • the politics of online accessibility - justice, discrimination, advocacy and markets
  • Aust cases - highlights of Australian litigation regarding online accessibility ... or inaccessibility
  • other - and some overseas cases

For those interested in questions of access to telecommunications infrastructure and skills there is an introduction in the Metrics & Statistics guide.

The supplementary Digital Divides profile explores particular issues in more detail, for example highlighting global and national access initiatives and reports.

This site also features separate discussion of Australian and overseas anti-discrimination enactments and other Human Rights legislation (including the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, ratified by Australia in 2008), complementing a broader introduction to Australian Law.

section marker     orientation

In Australia and other countries anti-discrimination law requires web site owners to remove online barriers.

Irrespective of legal requirements, good accessibility makes good sense for businesses, government agencies and other site operators. In principle few can afford to exclude people who are colour-blind, have old browsers or a 'slow' connection to the web (around 40% of the online population in Australia and New Zealand as of 2005) ... although many clearly do. 






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version of January 2010
© Bruce Arnold
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