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What is accessibility?

Accessibility simply means that everyone can access the information and content on our website without discrimination.

Like the gallery, the NGV website is for everyone and it needs to designed and built so that all members of the public can visit and use it without barriers. Making our website accessible means that we’re actively building content and infrastructure that meets the needs of all people, regardless of age and ability. Particularly, accessibility focuses on meeting the needs of individuals and groups with vision and hearing impairment, as well as other cognitive and physical conditions that might make accessing, consuming and understanding our content challenging.

As per the WCAG 2.1 guidelines, the website must be Perceivable, Operable, Understandable and Robust.

Why is accessibility important?

Aside from the fact that accessibility has a clear ethical impetus, we are also legally required to meet accessibility standards.

Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, Australian Government agencies are required to ensure information and services are provided in a non-discriminatory accessible manner. Australian Government agencies are required to meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA, which includes Level A (see mandate in Web Accessibility National Transition Strategy).

For more information, refer to the Digital Transformation Agency website and the Australian Government website.

Guidelines for NGV staff

To ensure the content we create is accessible, please follow these guidelines when you edit or create new pages on the NGV website.

  1. Use descriptive links
    Screen readers skip over text to find the relevant links in the page. If the link text is ‘click here’ the user has no context for the words ‘click here’. Please create links which describe where the link will go independent of surrounding text e.g. ‘Download activity sheet’, ‘Join online event’, etc. Never insert URLs into the page, e.g. www.mysite.com/page the screen reader will read it out to users.
  2. Avoid using the same link in close proximity to itself (e.g. at the start and end of a sentence)
    One link is enough. If the same link is used twice the user may think they are different links.
  3. Use clear and simple language
  4. Structure your content well
    Use:

    • Headings
    • Shorter paragraphs
    • Lists
  5. Use unique page titles to distinguish pages from one another
  6. Make sure the URL matches the the page title for better SEO results
  7. Use alt tags in images. These tags are added via the alt text field when you upload images to WordPress
  8. Use title tags in links
  9. Where possible provide videos and audio with transcripts or captions
  10. Make documents accessible
    PDFs need to be tagged so their structure can be read by assistive technologies. Please request accessible PDFs from the document supplier.

Tools for improving accessibility

The following tools are useful for checking and improving the accessibility of websites, pages and content:

Here’s a longer list of accessibility testing tools.

Something missing?

If you would like to add to this list, please email your recommendations through to multimedia.production@ngv.vic.gov.au and we’ll update the page.