Friday, September 26, 2008

Australian Human Rights commission launches site to name and shame government agencies failing accessibility measures

Further to my post, Australian Human Rights Commission prepared to name and shame government publishers failing online accessibility, the Human Rights Commission has now launched a website that lists government agencies failing to meet their legal obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992.

The site, named Webwatch is visible in the Human Right Commission's site.

The media release announcing the site's launch, WebWatch launched amid moves to improve website accessibility, also made reference to a motion passed by the Senate regarding accessibility of information which helps underscore the importance of making government information accessible online.

The Senate yesterday agreed to the following motion, put by Tasmania’s Senator Stephen Parry at the request of Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Families and Community Services, Senator Cory Bernardi:

That the Senate:
(a) notes the difficulties experienced by people with a disability, particularly people with vision impairment, in accessing some formats of Senate documents online; and
(b) calls on the Government and the Department of the Senate to ensure all Hansard and Senate committee documents are made accessible via the Internet to people with a disability as soon as they become public.


  1. While I support the move to raise the profile of accessibility issues in government - I have some difficulty with the way the Human Rights Commission have chosen to go about this.

    Particularly when there are so many accessibility issues on the Human Rights website itself. Maybe if there house was in order first ?

  2. Hi Anonymous,

    I agree that there seems to be a focus on the use of PDF documents - which can be made accessible with a small amount of effort.

    There are many other aspects of accessibility design which have not yet been flagged by the Commission.

    However every journey starts with the first step and every education with the first lesson.

    There is a two-yearly accessibility review of government websites in New Zealand funded their central egov agency. I would welcome an approach like this via AGIMO in Australia.