What is the DDA and how does it affect Australian-based websites?

The DDA applies to any individual or organization developing a website in Australia or placing or maintaining a web resource on an Australian server.

Its aim is ‘to eliminate, as far as possible, discrimination against persons on the ground of disability in the areas of work, accommodation, education, access to premises, clubs, and sport, and the provision of goods, facilities, services, and land.’

It does not stipulate specific WCAG standards, however, WCAG was cited during legal action.

What are the implications if my Australian websites are not accessible?

We believe that everyone should have equal access to the Internet, so the moral implications of not making your website accessible are clear.

There is a risk to your organization of litigation, as seen in the case against the Sydney Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games.

Data from our own Silktide Index highlights the top five accessibility issues facing website owners as;

  • Missing ā€˜Skip to contentā€™ navigation
  • Failure to identify form fields
  • Using the same link text for different destinations
  • Text with insufficient contrast
  • Not marking navigation as lists

These issues are relatively simple to identify using Silktideā€™s web accessibility testing platform.

How can Silktide help Australian website owners comply with the DDA?

Silktideā€™s platform automatically tests all your websites against the WCAG 2.1 (and WCAG 2.0) standards and presents you with remedial actions and educational information to help you become more accessible.

Weā€™re able to automatically test all unambiguous success criteria, and we also cover the mobile device accessibility requirements introduced on the most recent WCAG 2.1 standards.

While the DDA does not stipulate a particular web accessibility standard, we would recommend that website owners strive to comply with WCAG 2.1, the latest generally accepted worldwide standard for web accessibility.

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