Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Guest post: We should be celebrating our victories

Hi, today I'm featuring a guest post by Gian Wild of AccessibilityOz

Gian is Australia's leading specialist in accessibility and was on the working group that designed the WCAG 2.0 guidelines that agencies must follow.

Gian will be speaking at a series of free breakfast seminars at the start of April in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney with Texthelp Ltd on products available to improve the accessibility compliance of your site. This include BrowseAloud (an assistive technology) and OzPlayer (an accessible video player).

For more information visit www.accessibilityoz.com.au/2014/03/accessibility-breakfasts-melbourne-canberra-and-brisbane/

Or register here



We should be celebrating our victories

Recently AGIMO released their Progress Report into the Web Accessibility National Transition Strategy. I have sat back and watched as a number of commentators have focused on the negative; that Government web sites are still not fully accessible. A rumour has been doing the rounds that accessibility compliance is just too hard and that AGIMO is backing away from the National Transition Strategy and that web sites won’t need to meet the Level AA deadline of December 2014.

A recent study on assessing and promoting e-accessibility has been released which compared the accessibility of the EU27 countries, Australia, Canada, Norway and the US. In terms of the overall test scores, as seen in the graph below, Australia ranks second of all 31 countries, just behind the UK.

Bar graph of overall percentage test scores for each country, long description at the end of the article
Bar graph of overall percentage test scores for each country, long description at the end of the article (click to enlarge image)
Countries were given a score of zero, one or two, depending on their accessibility compliance pertaining to a particular test. Zero means the accessibility requirement was not met, 1 point means the requirement was partially met and two points means the requirement was fully met. Australia has the third lowest percentage of zero scores (no accessibility), behind the UK and Canada.

Bar graph showing the percentage of each test score (0, 1 or 2) for each country, long description at the end of the article
Bar graph showing the percentage of each test score (0, 1 or 2) for each country, long description at the end of the article (click to enlarge image)

When we look at Australian statistics, we see an impressive increase in the accessibility of Government sites. The 2010 NTS Baseline Report indicated 4.7% of Government web sites met WCAG2 at a particular level. At the end of 2012, 26% of Government web sites met Level A of WCAG2; that’s a 450% increase! And another 46% of sites are aiming to meet the Level AA requirement at the end of December 2014. In addition to this, 73% of all agencies have re-evaluated their web publishing processes, with an additional 21% intending to do so in the near future. Over half (58%) of agencies have changed their CMSes, with an additional 27% intending to do so in the near future. In procurement - the one area of accessibility where agencies have little control - over 97% of agencies are intending to or have already reviewed procurement strategies. More than 80% use an automated accessibility testing tool regularly.

Australia is certainly not alone in having Government requirements around accessibility, but, as this recent study suggests, we are leading the world in terms of accessibility compliance. We should be celebrating our victories; yes, there is a long way to go, but look at what we’ve done!


Overall scores for each country long description:

The highest ranking country is the UK with approximately 72% of the maximum score, followed by Australia with approximately 67% of the maximum score. The average score for the EU27 countries is approximately 52%. The lowest scoring country is Greece with 30%


Distribution of test scores for each country long description:

The country with the lowest percentage of 'zero' test scores is Canada, with an approximate percentage of 25% 'zero' scores, approximately 24% of 'one' scores and 51% of 'two' scores. The country with the second lowest percentage of 'zero' test scores if the UK with approximately 28% 'zero' scores, 1% 'one' scores and 71% 'two' scores. The country with the third lowest percentage of 'zero' test scores is Australia with approximately 29% 'zero' scores, 11% 'one' scores' and 60% 'two' scores. The country with the highest percentage of 'zero' test scores was Greece, with approximately 68% 'zero' test scores, 3% 'one' test scores and 28% 'two' test scores.

For more blog posts from Gian visit www.accessibilityoz.com.au/accessibility-blog/

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