AGIMO has released ‘Web Accessibility National Transition Strategy’

On the 30th June 2010, AGIMO released the ‘Web Accessibility National Transition Strategy‘. This details exactly how all Government agencies should prepare for, and implement, the second version of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

Compliance requirements

All web sites and web content must meet compliance requirements:

  • WCAG2, Level A by December 2012
  • WCAG2, Level AA by December 2014

With one exception: web sites and web content created before July 2010 that will be archived or decommissioned before December 2012 are not required to meet WCAG2.

Who does this apply to?

The Online and Communications Council requires all federal, state and territory websites to conform to the guidelines to meet Single A level within a two-year period (by the end of 2012). By the end of 2014, all these web sites should be Double A compliant.

Three phase approach

Preparation phase: July – December 2010

  • Agency website stocktake: archiving and decommissioning non-essential and out-dated information and compiling a list of websites and web services to be upgraded.
  • WCAG2 conformance check: assessment of in-scope web sites for current level of WCAG compliance via self-assessment or independent assessment.
  • Website infrastructure assessment: assessment of third party products (such as Content Management Systems, e-commerce systems etc.) for WCAG2 compliance.
  • Capability assessment: identify knowledge gaps within the organisation and identify specific WCAG2 training needs.
  • Risk assessment: undertake a risk assessment of current WCAG2 conformance levels of sites, number of sites and infrastructure and skill capabilities.
  • Mitigation projects led by AGIMO: Projects or working groups created to address areas of non-conformance across agencies, such as mapping interfaces.

Transition phase: January – December 2011

  • Training and education: WCAG2 training, perhaps provided by AGIMO.
  • Procurement review: assessment of all procurement policies to ensure they include accessibility criteria.
  • Infrastructure and capability upgrades: upgrading of infrastructure to meet WCAG2 requirements.
  • Progress reporting: AGIMO to maintain oversight of WCAG2 conformance by agencies.

Implementation phase: December 2012 (Level A), December 2014 (Level AA)

  • Agency implementation: implementation of WCAG2 requirements, focusing on: common issues and fail points; priority of implementation; and a web accessibility action plan.
  • Conformance testing: self-assessment or independent assessment of an agency’s web sites

Federal agencies will be required to provide conformance reports to AGIMO, which may be subject to independent evaluation.

The following information on an agency’s web site should always be up-to-date and compliant with WCAG2:

  • contact details;
  • information about the organisation, including its role, legislation, administered functions, structure, key personnel and services;
  • current information that will help citizens to understand their responsibilities, obligations, rights and entitlements (benefits, etc.) in relation to government assistance;
  • current public notices, warnings and advice.