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DDA (Australia) compliance for web accessibility

The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) provides protection for everyone in Australia against discrimination based on disability.

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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 ‘Skip to content’ 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 Silktide’s web accessibility testing platform.

“For us, one of the most important features was the ease of understanding web page accessibility. Our users are aware that it’s important, but often are unfamiliar with how to “fix” issues. Silktide makes it so easy for our users to fix any issues – way more than any other solutions we looked at.”

Zach McCurdy | Web Trainer and Content Specialist | Grand Valley State University

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

Silktide’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.

We’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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