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The people who need services most are often the people who find them hardest to access.

People may not have a choice when using an online service provided by government, so it’s important they work for everyone.

This means you need to start thinking about how people might access and use your online service before you design, build or publish anything online.

Think about digital accessibility from the start

In 2015, there were 4.3 million (or about 1 in 5) Australians living with disability.

But good accessibility practices don’t just apply to people with disability.

All users will have different needs at different times and in different circumstances.

By ensuring our online services are accessible, we benefit everyone, for example:

  • a person with vision impairment who requires a screen reader to navigate or contribute to a web page
  • older people with changing abilities due to ageing
  • users of mobile devices
  • people with “temporary disability” such as a broken arm or lost glasses
  • people using a slow internet connection
  • people using limited or expensive bandwidth or live in regional areas
  • people using older internet devices that may not be running the latest software versions

How people with disabilities use the web from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) explains the barriers assistive technology users and older users face due to poor design.

Thinking about this from the beginning will help you:

  • make sure that no one is excluded
  • find out earlier if any parts of your service aren’t accessible - problems usually cost a lot less to fix if you find them early

Supporting resources

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Published by: Digital Citizen Services
Last update: 30 April 2019, first published

Content on this page published with acknowledgement.