Inaccessible websites to be named and shamed

Government departments that post materials inaccessible to people with disabilities will be publicly named and shamed on the Australian Human Rights Commission’s website.

The launch of the WebWatch list came in response to difficulties being experienced by people with a disability, particularly people with vision impairment in accessing some formats of the governmental documents online, such as the Grocery Watch site and the recently published climate change papers.

“Last month, I said publicly that government departments and agencies needed to lift their game in providing equal access to public information for people with disability,” said Human Right Commissioner and Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes.

The commission’s move is in line with a recent parliamentary motion put by Tasmania’s Senator Stephen Parry at the request of Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Families and Community Services, Senator Cory Bernardi.

The senate upheld the motion and called on the Government and the Department of the Senate to ensure all Hansard and senate committee documents are made accessible via the internet to people with a disability as soon as they become public.

“In a democracy it is particularly vital that information from the parliament itself should be accessible to all,” said Commissioner Innes. “It is good to see the senate taking a lead on this issue.”

WebWatch can be accessed here.

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