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Make sure your technology, infrastructure and systems are accessible and inclusive for all users.

  • All government suppliers have a duty to make their technology and services accessible to all. Especially for people with disability.
  • Retrofitting projects to meet the accessibility standards can be a considerable expense for suppliers and the government.
  • The Digital Transformation Agency report this expense is up to 30 times the cost of incorporating accessibility progressively.

Technology projects benefit from:

  • making technology work for as many users as possible
  • employees having easy access to the information and infrastructure they need to do their work
  • assurance that there is no barrier to employing people with specific access needs
  • avoiding potential legal challenges

When building infrastructure and systems make sure you consider accessibility from the start of your project.

Do user research with users who have a range of abilities and decide on your accessibility requirements.

Doing this means you can make sure that:

  • employees of government and private business are not restricted
  • it is easier to build accessible services for everyone

For example, you should consider:

  • Which hardware you choose, how compatible it is with assistive technologies and what accessible functionality comes as standard.
  • Which software you choose, such as the authoring tools and software that operates as a user interface or as assistive technology.
  • The accessible space in your office environment and server rooms.

If you’re building technology to provide a service over the web, read our guidance on service design.

Any product or supplier selected by the government must show how the solution meets the relevant standards, or the capability to deliver accessibility as part of the implementation:

  • The Australian Accessible ICT Standard AS EN 301 549:2016 supports access to information, communication and technology (ICT) for people with disability. This standard also provides ICT procurers with accessibility guidance and certainty.
  • Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is a standard that covers websites and digital services. Suppliers must meet level AA of the WCAG 2.0 as a minimum.

Any purchase arrangement or contract must include terms confirming the vendor’s commitment to meet government accessibility requirements.

If the product or supplier cannot demonstrate the required level of accessibility, then the business area must engage an internal accessibility subject matter expert (SME) or a third-party digital accessibility consultancy to validate compliance before entering into any arrangements with the product or supplier.

Evidence of compliance

Vendors supplying technology to the government must provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate their compliance with these requirements.

Evidence may include:

  • Documentation detailing the level of accessibility of a product (against WCAG 2.0/2.1 or AS EN 301 549:2016).
  • Past case studies where accessibility requirements have been addressed.
  • Details of how accessibility is represented on the future product roadmap.
  • Identification of specific reference sites where people with a disability are using the solution.
  • Whether the product was tested with assistive technology - and if so, which ones.
  • How the supplier makes sure that future updates to the product won’t have a negative impact on accessibility.

Vendors must be accurate about how far their product meets accessibility standards.

You may ask for confirmation, either from the vendor directly or through third-party certification.

If a website or digital service and already meets the WCAG 2.0 or 21 AA standard, it should also meet the requirements of AS EN 301 549:2016.

Video guide

The Australian Accessible ICT Standard AS EN 301 549:2016 is an adoption of European Standard EN 301 549.

Support

For more information email onlineaccessibility@sa.gov.au

If you’re supplying a technology product to the government, you must provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate how your product or service meets accessibility standards.

  • The Australian Accessible ICT Standard AS EN 301 549:2016 supports access to information, communication and technology (ICT) for people with disability. This standard also provides ICT procurers with accessibility guidance and certainty.
  • Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is a standard that covers websites and digital services. Suppliers must meet level AA of the WCAG 2.0 as a minimum.

Meeting the Australian Accessible ICT Standard

  1. Review chapter 4 'functional performance' statements in AS EN 301 549:2016.
  2. Work out which of these are relevant to the technology you want to supply.

For example, if your product is an information kiosk, you will need to consider:

  • People with sight, hearing, motor or cognitive impairments.
  • How to make your product accessible to people in wheelchairs because they are likely to have limited physical reach.

This means you should use statement ‘4.2.8 Usage with limited reach’ as one of your accessibility statements.

But if your product is only software, a user with limited physical reach is less likely to have an issue, so you might not need to include statement 4.2.8.

If your technology is a website or digital service and already meets the WCAG 2.0 or 21 AA standard, it should also meet the requirements of AS EN 301 549:2016.

Meeting the WCAG standard for websites and digital services

Read our guidance on understanding WCAG.

You might want to consider paying to get your product audited against WCAG by an accessibility expert.

Supplying evidence of compliance

Vendors supplying technology to the government must provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate their compliance with these requirements.

Evidence may include:

  • Documentation detailing the level of accessibility of a product (against WCAG 2.0/2.1 or AS EN 301 549:2016).
  • Past case studies where accessibility requirements have been addressed.
  • Details of how accessibility is represented on the future product roadmap.
  • Identification of specific reference sites where people with a disability are using the solution.
  • Whether your product was tested with assistive technology - and if so, which ones.
  • How you make sure that future updates to the product won’t have a negative impact on accessibility.

You must be accurate about how far your product meets accessibility standards.

The buyer may ask for confirmation, either from you directly, or through third-party certification.

Video guide

The Australian Accessible ICT Standard AS EN 301 549:2016 is an adoption of European Standard EN 301 549.

Support

For more information email onlineaccessibility@sa.gov.au

If you’re building technology to provide a service over the web, read our guidance on service design.