APS to adopt ICT accessibility standard

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Monday, 19 September, 2016

APS to adopt ICT accessibility standard

The Australian Public Service plans to require ICT vendors to ensure their products and services are accessible to employees with disabilities, under new standards expected to be in place by the end of the year.

Standards Australia has agreed to create a new Australian standard on ICT accessibility by directly adopting the current European accessibility standard.

In a blog post, Australian government CTO John Sheridan said that once adopted, the new standard can be used when determining technical specifications for the procurement of accessible ICT products and services.

The standard will cover products and services including video or two-way voice communications, web content, hardware and software. Accessibility guidelines will cover physical, sensory, emotional and cognitive disorders.

Sheridan said existing ICT products and services will not need to be replaced, but the standard should be used when products or services are up for renewal or replacement.

A public consultation will be held shortly before the standard can be adopted. Stanton noted that most products and services currently in use in the public sector already comply with the European accessibility standard as well as its US counterpart. He said other levels of government may also adopt the standard.

Image courtesy of Yahoo! Accessibility Lab under CC

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