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Style Manual

Accessibility and inclusion

People can experience ongoing, temporary or situational barriers to access information they need. Meet accessibility guidelines to design content for equal access.

Make content accessible

Accessibility is about inclusion.

Government services and products need to be available to everyone. This means creating inclusive content.

Inclusive content recognises:

  • Australia’s diversity
  • the diversity of technology Australians use to engage online.

For example, inclusive content accommodates:

  • cultural and linguistic diversity among users
  • diversity of abilities among users
  • how users interact with technology in different contexts.

The government’s aim is that all services are digital first. They need to work for any user under the Digital Transformation Strategy.

Follow accessibility guidance in context

Style Manual topics give you the guidance you need to follow to create accessible content. Where there is specific accessibility requirements or guidance, Style Manual provides callouts to make it clear what you need to do.

Example

This is an example of an accessibility callout.

Style manual guidance

In addition to this contextual guidance, Style Manual also provides information on:

  • designing for accessibility and inclusion
  • applying the principles of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
  • the responsibilities of government agencies.

This guidance supports agencies in meeting accessibility requirements. Style Manual does not provide technical guidance or support for developers and site owners on meeting specific accessibility requirements.

Release notes

The digital edition recognises accessibility as an integral aspect of government content.

The sixth edition mentioned the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) but did not go into detail about how to implement accessibility in relation to writing and editing.

Content Guide had an overview on accessibility that referred to specific success criteria in WCAG.

About this page

References

ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) (2020) Accessibility statement, ABC website, accessed 4 December 2020. 

Australian Inclusive Publishing Initiative (2019) Inclusive publishing in Australia: an introductory guide, AIPI website, accessed 5 November 2020.

Australian Taxation Office (2020) Digital inclusion guide, ATO website, accessed 25 November 2020. 

Interaction Design Foundation (n.d.) Usability, IDF website, accessed 5 November 2020.

Microsoft (2016) Inclusive design, Microsoft website, accessed 12 November 2020.

Standards Australia, Accessibility requirements suitable for public procurement of ICT products and services, AS EN 301 549:2016.

Stephanidis C (n.d.) ‘Design for all’, in The encyclopedia of human-computer interaction (2nd edn) [online], Interaction Design Foundation website, accessed 5 November 2020.

Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) (2020) Making content usable for people with cognitive and learning disabilities [working draft], W3C website, accessed 27 August 2020.

W3C (2018) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1, W3C website, accessed 1 November 2020.

W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) (2020) Accessibility fundamentals, W3C website, accessed 5 November 2020.

W3C WAI (2017), ‘Diverse abilities and barriers’, Accessibility fundamentals, W3C website, accessed 23 November 2020.

W3C WAI (2019), W3C accessibility standards overview, W3C website, accessed 23 November 2020.

W3C WAI (2020), What’s new in WCAG 2.2 [working draft], W3C website, accessed 26 November 2020.

W3C WAI (2015) ‘Writing for web accessibility’, Tips for getting started, W3C website, accessed 5 November 2020.

This page was updated Wednesday 9 December 2020.

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