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.