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Media Release by The Hon Bill Shorten MP

Government releases website accessibility national transition strategy

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Lindsay Tanner MP, Minister for Finance and Deregulation

People with disabilities will have better access to Australian Government websites as a result of the implementation of new website accessibility guidelines.

Minister for Finance and Deregulation, Lindsay Tanner, and Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities, Bill Shorten, today released the Website Accessibility National Transition Strategy and implementation plan for Australian Government agencies to upgrade to the new guidelines.

Lindsay Tanner said the guidelines provide details on how to make websites more accessible to people with disabilities.

“In order to provide services that are fair and equitable, in order to fully engage and participate with citizens, government websites must be accessible to all.”

“This transition strategy sets out a four-year plan that will see guide agencies in upgrading to new accessibility standards that are internationally recognised best-practice.”

Along with improved training for agency staff, the Transition Strategy includes a rigorous reporting component to improve the transparency of accessibility in online communication. Agencies are required to report to the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) at regular intervals on their conformance to the new guidelines.

Mr Shorten said that people with disability had a right to equal treatment and equal services.

“New technology has huge potential to make life better for people with disability, but we need to make sure that it is as easy to use as possible for all members of our community.

“This Government has increased funding for disability services, raised the Disability Support Pension and offered extra support to carers, and has asked the Productivity Commission to investigate the possibility of a national disability insurance scheme.”

“We are also developing a National Disability Strategy, to be released this year, which will outline our approach to further protecting the rights of people with a disability and encouraging their inclusion in society.”

State and Territory Governments have been invited to opt-in to the Transition Strategy. More information is provided on the Web Publishing Guide: http://webpublishing.agimo.gov.au/Accessibility.html