Australian legislation and standards

Commonwealth legislation

The Australian Human Rights Commission references legislation such as the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 which requires providing equitable access to people with disability. It is unlawful Under the Act, to discriminate against a person with disability by excluding access to information and services, which includes those delivered online.

Government standards

The Australian Government has endorsed the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.1 for all government websites. WCAG is also included in:

WCAG is part of a series of accessibility guidelines, including the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) and the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG). Essential Components of Web Accessibility explains the relationship between the different guidelines.

Guides to help meet the standards

Advice on how to meet compliance to Australian standards is detailed in the Digital Service Standard now has a version 2 that references compliance with the latest WCAG, published on the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) website.  Accessibility is also included in the Commonwealth Government Style Manual which is the standard for Australian Government writing and editing.

The DTA developed an Australian Government design system that is now being maintained by the community and is called the GOLD Design System. States and territories have built on this work to develop their own design systems:

Related international standards

  • JTC1 Special WG Accessibility believes that the work in the area of information communication and technology standardization for accessibility is a major undertaking, encompassing many international, regional and local interests. Additionally, there are significant standards efforts taking place in ISO, IEC, ITU and the national and regional standards bodies as well as various consortia/fora and user groups. In response to JTC 1’s long term business plan and international, regional, national, and end user requirements in the area of accessibility, the Special Working Group on Accessibility was established at the October 2004 JTC 1 Plenary meeting in Berlin.
  • Instructional Management System (IMS) Global Learning Standards are free to download and free to use. To claim conformance to an IMS standard an implementing organization must complete the certification process indicated and join the relevant IMS Alliance community. Each Alliance community serves as the developer and conformance certification community for the particular standard(s). IMS Affiliate and Contributing Members are eligible for participation in all Alliances.
  • For the current vocabulary terms, please refer to the Accessibility Properties for Discoverability Vocabulary. The vocabulary is now maintained by the Accessibility Discoverability Vocabulary for Community Group.
  • United States Section 508 is the official website with resources for understanding and implementing ‘Section 508’. There are also resources for understanding compliance for ICT procurement using a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT), which is maintained by Information Technology Industry Council (ITIC).