Reaching all the people: an accessibility update from AGIMO on Thursday 27th October 2011

Jacqui van Teulingen - AGIMO
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AGIMO’s Accessibility team would like to invite you to an upcoming web accessibility seminar, “Reaching all the people: an accessibility update from AGIMO”, to be hosted at University House on Thursday 27th October 2011. As part of the Australian Government’s commitment to improved Web Accessibility, AGIMO is hosting a full day seminar for Australian Government web, ICT and communication professionals as well as staff responsible for implementing the Web Accessibility National Transition Strategy(NTS) within their agency.

The NTS has been guiding the Australian Government’s web accessibility efforts since June 2010. The results of our Web Accessibility National Transition Strategy Phase 1 Progress Report will be published in October 2011. The report highlights several areas where agencies require better support and guidance and this full day seminar is designed to address those needs. The seminar will provide web, ICT and communication professionals working in the Australian Government an opportunity to hear updates on the web accessibility work program, address the issues and recommendations of the report and hear about some agency experiences. The seminar will include sessions on:

  • WCAG 2.0 conformance testing tools and reporting
  • education and training materials
  • accessible procurement
  • web applications
  • alternative formats
  • the accessibility of social media
  • captioning

AGIMO will also be running a question and answer panel. Pre-submit your questions by leaving comments below or emailing us at


Date: Thursday, 27 October 2011 Time: 9.00 am – 4.30 pm (includes lunch plus morning and afternoon tea with plenty of time for networking with your colleagues – bring your business cards) Venue: University House, Australian National University (ANU) Cost: Free Featuring presentations from AGIMO’s Accessibility team: Jacqui van Teulingen, Director Andrew Arch and Ravenna Calais, Senior Policy Officers


To register, email with your name, role, agency, email and phone number. Registration closes COB on 13 October 2011, or earlier if sold out. Book now to secure your seat! This event is aimed at Australian Government FMA Act agencies, and places are limited to a maximum of two people per agency.  A waiting list will offer available places on a pro-rata basis.

Time Session details 8:30 am Registration 9.00 am


Mr John Sheridan, First Assistant Secretary, AGIMO

  Introduction and government progress - The NTS Phase 1 Progress Report   Web accessibility education and training material: options and issues   WCAG 2.0 conformance testing: methods, automated tools and reporting 10.45 am Morning tea break   Accessible procurement: sourcing more accessible solutions   Are web applications subject to WCAG 2.0? The scope and accessibility of web apps   How to apply alternative formats: use of PDF and document conversion services 12.45 pm Lunch break   Social media and Web 2.0: making social media more accessible   Captions & WCAG 2.0: how to comply with Guideline 1.2 and emerging caption technologies 2.50 pm Afternoon tea break   The future of accessibility: strategic options and new initiatives   Q&A panel discussion: questions can be pre-submitted or raised on the day   Summary and closing comments 4.30 pm End of Seminar

Comments (11)

Mitigation Projects led by AGIMO

Risk assessments are likely to identify a range of applications, either existing or planned, for which there is no current technical solution to conform to WCAG 2.0. For example, mapping interfaces (the visual representation of spatial data) will require a project or working group to be developed to seek a solution for government. AGIMO, in collaboration with working groups and the community of expertise, will review these issues, identify solutions for agencies, provide guidance and publish results to assist agencies to conform to WCAG 2.0.

I would like to know when "project(s) or working group(s)" are going to form to deal with the applications found that cannot create accessible content; to deal with vendors (e.g. HP Trim as a prime example) who are rejecting the whole premise of WCAG 2.0; and to provide resources and support to meet the impending deadlines?

Agencies are having a hard enough time as it is, there seems to be very little movement from AGIMO (apart from social chat pages like this blog) in dealing with this issue.

The opportunity for Whole of Government solutions to the WCAG conundrum is being lost as we move closer to Dec 2012. Our agency - and I imagine many others too - is working towards Dec 2014 as we know that Dec 2012 Level A is completely unattainable due to the lack of support provided.

Where are the "solutions for agencies, provide guidance and publish results to assist agencies to conform to WCAG 2.0" promised by AGIMO?

As a department responsible for the production of mapping data, earthquake and tsunami warnings and other vital information to Australia we require substantial support from AGIMO - we are trying our hardest with the meager resources we have available, but are already sure we cannot meet the arbitrary deadline of Level A by Dec 2012 put placed by AGIMO without any valid rationale...

The National Transition Strategy is far too ambitious to not have any resources to back it up, and as such, will fail to be met by many departments...

But let me reiterate - we are trying as hard as we can, with meager resources, to meet WCAG 2.0 - we are not throwing our hands in the air and saying "Exemption" - we are just painfully aware that the arbitrary nature of the NTS, and the lack of WoG support, means that we will ultimately fail to meet AGIMO requirements.

Hi James

By its nature policy can seem like a broad brush approach, but agencies do have the autonomy - and are in fact encouraged - to upgrade content in line with user needs. I agree agencies should aim to prioritise some areas, employment a good choice. We also encourage agencies to improve important content areas (considering Triple A level accessibility) for the following:

* information that will help citizens to understand their responsibilities, obligations, rights and entitlements (e.g. benefits or services) in relation to government assistance
* public notices, warnings and advice that pose risk to members of the community if not known or observed (e.g. relating to health, safety, or financial matters).

Thanks for your comments

worried that you aren't prioritising accessibilty properly and are taking a broad brush approach. how about concentrating on where people need to interact with government rather than trying to ensure every document is accessible. If I want to get a job, I need that service to be accessible, if I need to read a document, I would like it to be accessible, but happy to obtain it in another format.

Great initiative - good to see the momentum continues!

A great initiative and an interesting agenda - I look forward to the session.

Sounds like a great day. Any chance podcasting the sessions for those of us not in Canberra?

Thanks Mary, we have had a lot of interest in the session from all over the country. To ensure that people everywhere can access the information we will run a Twitter stream on the day. I will post details of the hash tags and invite panel questions shortly.

Unfortunately we do not have the capacity to stream live audio, but we do intend to take an audio recording of each session. However, we have some reservations about audio file sizes for download as each of our sessions are 30 minutes or longer. We are continuing to investigate options for audio with the intention of posting the audio files (with transcripts), slide decks and other materials here for access by everyone.

I've just been to Cebit #Gov 2.0, so this is going to be a great follow up from that!

Hi guys

Any chance we can get a soft copy of the information distributed at this event?


I was lucky enough to be able to attend last week. Congratulations to Jacqui, Raven and Andrew. What a great day! Looking forward to seeing the slides etc from the event online.


Beverley Biram

Hi all,

thanks for putting on the WCAG 2.0 update, will the slides and documents from the event be made available at all?


Last updated: 01 August 2016