Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (administered by the Australian Human Rights Commission) agencies must ensure that people with disabilities are afforded the same fundamental rights to access information as the rest of the community.
The Disability Services Act 2006 reaffirms that people with a disability have the same rights as all other members of the Queensland community. The Queensland Government Disability Service Plans represent the Queensland Government’s commitment to ensure information and communication relating to government services is accessible, inclusive and allows equitable opportunity for participation by people with a disability, their families and carers.
In regards to using non-HTML documents such as PDFs, the Australian Human Rights Commission states the following:
The Commission's view is that organisations who distribute content only in PDF format, and who do not also make this content available in another format such as RTF, HTML, or plain text, are liable for complaints under the DDA. Where an alternative file format is provided, care should be taken to ensure that it is the same version of the content as the PDF version and that it is downloadable by the user as a single document, just as the PDF version is downloaded as a single file.
(Source: Australian Human Rights Commission, 2009)
The purpose of the Non-HTML documents module is to maximise the accessibility and usability for all groups of the community when interacting with non-HTML documents on Queensland Government websites. The checkpoint requirements are based on:
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0
- Website policy: Mandatory principle 1 – Online presence
- Environmental scan and review of Australian and international online policies and guidelines
- Usability testing on the CUE as implemented on qld.gov.au from 2005 – 2010
- Industry leaders and recommendations (such as Vision Australia, Australian Government Information Management Office, Dr Jakob Nielsen, Nielsen Norman Group).