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Month: April 2019

Call for online disability access standards for computers from Equal Opportunity Commission: ABC

The ABC recently published a news item on its website highlighting the challenges faced by people who are blind or vision impaired and the underreporting of web accessibility issues.

In the article written by Herlyn Kaur titled Call for online disability access standards for computers from Equal Opportunity Commission, The key points highlighted in the article are:

  • Navigating websites can be a struggle for Australians with a vision impairment
  • Australian laws prohibit discriminating against a disability when providing goods or services
  • WA’s equal opportunity commissioner has called for mandatory, enforceable standards

The article discusses the experience of screen reader user Siyat Abdi and the challenges faced in trying to use websites as a blind user on a daily basis. In response, WA Equal Opportunity Commissioner John Byrne said the issue was not isolated to people with a visual impairment and explained how the limitations of the Disability Discrimination Act of 1992 (DDA) may be a factor. Essentially the DDA  does provide a means to lodge a complaint, but complaints are few and this is likely due to a lack of specific ICT standards in the DDA.

Regular readers of this website will be aware of my personal call, among the many that work in this space, to Fix the DDA and the need to legislate against digital access discrimination in Australia. It’s great to see the issue receiving some mainstream traction in the media.

W3C WAI improves resource translation support

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) has significantly improved its content so that it is much easier to locate documents such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) standard documents and associated resources in a variety of languages.

The All Translations section on the W3C website provides expandable menus based on a number of languages whereby the selection for a particular language will expand to show all current W3C WAI translations in that language.

The resource currently features categories based on the following languages:

  • Arabic
  • French
  • German
  • Greek
  • Spanish
  • Japanese
  • Dutch
  • Russian
  • Simplified Chinese

In addition, W3C WAI appears to be relaxing its strict processes relating to document translations, seeking volunteers to get involved. This will hopefully increase the number of documents supported in other languages.

While at the time of writing some language categories are placeholders such as Arabic, it is encouraging to see more effort being put into an area which has traditionally been a weak point in the provision of accessibility standards in different languages.