Making University web sites accessible to all users is the right thing to do. Accessible sites are generally more usable for everyone – including users with disabilities, users with different learning styles, users who have English as a second language, users on mobile devices, older people and users with older technologies – thus increasing the number of people who can successfully use the site.
Inaccessible web sites impact negatively on the University because they reduce productivity, user satisfaction and the ability of search iengines to crawl and index information. At the same time, inaccessibile sites are less compatible with new technologies, expose the University to negative comment on social media and increase the risk of litigation.
Australia is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Convention requires Australia to promote access for persons with disabilities to new information and communications technologies and systems, including the Internet.
The Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic) protects people from discrimination on the basis of their disability, including in employment and education, and provides redress for people who have been discriminated against.
The Act defines disability as:
- Partial or total loss of a bodily function or part of the body
- The presence in the body of a disease-causing organism
- Malfunction of a part of the body, including a mental or psychological disease or disorder, or learning disability
- Malformation or disfigurement of a part of the body, including an impairment that may exist in the future (including because of a genetic predisposition to that impairment) and behaviour that is a symptom or manifestation of an impairment.
The University of Melbourne has 1000 staff with a disability and 1300 students registered as having a disability. The University aspires to develop a culture that understands and responds to disability as the obligation of all. Such a culture recognizes that the ‘quality of life of a community is improved by the inclusion of all persons in that community’, and enables students and staff with disabilities to be active participants in all aspects of university life.
On 28 June 2011, University of Melbourne's Business and Advisory Group adopted the W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 AA as the University's standard in relation to web content.
All web sites and applications which form part of the University web presence are expected to be compliant with the WCAG guidelines.
For assistance or to report accessibility problems please contact:
Web Accessibility Lead
Phone: +61 3 9035 4867