Creating Accessible Web Content in Australia

In the digital landscape, the importance of creating web content that is accessible to all users, including those with disabilities, is paramount. In Australia, where the ethos of a fair go is deeply ingrained in national identity, ensuring web accessibility is not just a matter of compliance but of social equity. This article outlines tips and best practices for Australian content creators to make web content universally accessible.

Creating Accessible Web Content in Australia

Fri Feb 09 2024

Ben Ajaero

Creating Accessible Web Content in Australia

In the digital landscape, the importance of creating web content that is accessible to all users, including those with disabilities, is paramount. In Australia, where the ethos of a fair go is deeply ingrained in national identity, ensuring web accessibility is not just a matter of compliance but of social equity. This article outlines tips and best practices for Australian content creators to make web content universally accessible.

Understanding Web Accessibility

Web accessibility means that websites, tools, and technologies are designed and developed so that people with disabilities can use them. More specifically, people can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the web, and contribute to the web. Web accessibility encompasses all disabilities that affect access to the web, including auditory, cognitive, neurological, physical, speech, and visual.

Australia’s commitment to web accessibility is backed by the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA), which makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person on the ground of their disability, including in the area of digital accessibility. Additionally, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are widely accepted as the standard for web accessibility, including in Australia.

Tips for Creating Accessible Web Content

Start with a Plan

Develop an accessibility strategy that aligns with the WCAG guidelines. This plan should be integrated into your content creation process from the outset to ensure that all content is accessible by design.

Use Semantic HTML

Semantic HTML uses HTML tags that inherently carry meaning about the type and structure of content. For example, using <h1> to <h6> tags for headings not only structures your content but also helps screen readers understand the hierarchy and importance of the topics.

Provide Text Alternatives

All non-text content that conveys information, such as images, videos, and audio files, should have a text alternative. This can be in the form of alt text, transcripts, or captions, allowing those with visual or auditory impairments to access the information.

Ensure Sufficient Contrast

Text and images should have sufficient contrast against the background to ensure that those with visual impairments or color blindness can read the content. WCAG guidelines specify contrast ratios for text and images of text.

Make All Functionality Keyboard Accessible

Many users with disabilities rely on a keyboard or keyboard interface to navigate web content. Ensure that all interactive elements are operable with keyboard commands alone.

Use descriptive link text that provides an indication of where the link will take the user. Avoid vague phrases like “click here” or “read more,” which do not offer context to users, especially those using screen readers.

Use ARIA Landmarks

Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) landmarks can be used to define regions of the page (like banners, navigation, and main content) to assist screen reader users in navigating more efficiently.

Test Your Content

Use both automated tools and real people to test your web content for accessibility. Consider including people with disabilities in your testing group to get authentic feedback on the accessibility of your content.

Train Your Team

Ensure that everyone involved in content creation and management understands the importance of web accessibility and knows how to implement it. This includes writers, designers, developers, and content managers.

Keep Accessibility Documents Up to Date

Maintain an accessibility statement and keep records of accessibility audits and user feedback. This demonstrates your commitment to accessibility and provides transparency to your users.

Conclusion

Web accessibility is a critical aspect of web development that ensures inclusivity and equity online. By following the tips and best practices outlined above, content creators in Australia can make significant strides towards creating web experiences that are usable by everyone. As technology advances and awareness grows, web accessibility will remain a dynamic and integral part of the digital content landscape in Australia and beyond.

Read our comprehensive guide on accessibility in Australia

Learn what tools and frmeworks are changing the game in accessibility.


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About the author

Ben Ajaero

Ben Ajaero

Founder & Visionary

A motivated entrepreneur and dedicated student at UNSW pursuing a dual degree in Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence) and Aerospace Engineering (Honours), Ben is the driving force behind Cox Code. His vision for a digital agency that blends cutting-edge innovation with luxurious design has set Cox Code apart in the Australian tech landscape.

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Creating Accessible Web Content in Australia

In the digital landscape, the importance of creating web content that is accessible to all users, including those with disabilities, is paramount. In Australia, where the ethos of a fair go is deeply ingrained in national identity, ensuring web accessibility is not just a matter of compliance but of social equity. This article outlines tips and best practices for Australian content creators to make web content universally accessible.

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