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Web developers, have a “Duty of Care”

There’s plenty of “Googling” happening at the moment as many of us are doing lots of online research looking for service providers and strategies as we prepare for the NDIS.

I recently caught up with Natalie Khoo, a copywriter (specialising in advising businesses that are developing or updating their website).

During our chat we spoke about why we are still seeing websites that aren’t accessible for people who are vision-impaired users of adaptive technology.

Even since the incident in which Bruce McGuire (who is blind) sued the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000 for not giving him equal opportunity to purchase tickets, through to the suing of Coles in late 2014 by a vision-impaired user for not providing web accessible content, the issue of web accessibility still remains.

Back in 2014, only 26% of websites in Australia met the minimum requirement (‘A’ standard). Although there is no definitive data publicly available to say how we have progressed, the general consensus is that emerging web writers, designers and developers still have much to learn.

In saying that, we are now seeing rapid developments in assistive technologies – such as improved shortcuts and hotkeys in JAWS 10 (screenreader software that helps vision-impaired users understand and interact with online content) – that are rendering ‘AAA’ compliance less important.

Compliance with WCAG is a human rights issue.

Federal government websites must comply with AA-level standards.

Other organisations (including businesses) that do not meet these universally recognised web accessibility guidelines are at risk of breaching the Disability Discrimination Act.

When organising your website, it always pays to ask someone what their knowledge of web accessibility is like, and don’t let them bamboozle you with how many “bells and whistles” they can put on your website.

I highly recommend Natalie to have a chat with if you’ve got any questions getting your website right for everybody.

This is her website:

Inaccessable Website

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  1. How accessible are WordPress based sites? I think many single people services are going for this as a first step in service development…

  2. Caris Jalla Caris Jalla

    Thanks for sharing on this important topic John. I’ll forward this to some web developers I know.

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