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Best practice digital writing makes web content more accessible

We are going beyond the technical guidelines to make sure our websites are truly accessible for all FACS clients, web users and our staff.

When creating content, we keep our user in mind at all times. This includes the words we choose, the format used to present information and also following a consistent style so web users know what to expect from us.

Writing in a clear, jargon-free way is always the goal. If we must use a particular formal name or term we seek to explain it.

By implementing better standards for what we produce, we will ultimately produce web content that is more accessible for all our users. This includes clients with cognitive, learning and intellectual disabilities and those from a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) background.

Benefits of improving website accessibility

Accessible content:

  • helps us broaden our audience for FACS content
  • improves the usability of our sites for all people
  • ensures we cater to web users who are blind or with low vision
  • makes our digital content easier to use for seniors, people with lower literacy or from CALD communities
  • ensures our information can be viewed easily by smartphone/tablet users
  • improves the technical performance of our sites such as faster loading times and smaller bandwidth requirements.
  • answers questions immediately more often and so reduces the need for clients to seek information using other means such as phone calls or visiting a FACS office
  • provides an opportunity for us to review all our content
  • makes us compliant with relevant legislation
  • reduces our reliance on the PDF document format. This format is not as accessible, mobile friendly or searchable as other types of website content.

Risks of inaccessible web content

Inaccessible content on FACS websites:

  • Restricts access to information for people who are blind or with low vision, limited English, or an intellectual disability or learning challenge
  • Exposes us to risk of adverse findings from an audit by the NSW Auditor-General
  • Could result in complaints from peak bodies and the public about inaccessible content
  • Is contrary to a staff culture promoting web accessibility
  • Lowers staff productivity, as non-accessible documents take longer to read and comprehend.

Number of people with disability

According to the United Nations, around 15% of the world's population, or an estimated 1 billion people, have a disability. Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicate that 20% of the Australian population have one or more disabilities – that’s more than three million people. This number is rising due to Australia’s ageing population.

Consultation and related documents

This policy was developed in consultation with staff in the Ministerial and Communications Services directorate of FACS. We also sought specialist advice including from the FACS Disability Employment Network.

The FACS Digital Accessibility Standard is linked to the FACS Website Accessibility Policy.

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Last updated: 01 Aug 2019
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