The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are the international standards that show teams how to build products and services that are accessible for every person, no matter their abilities or circumstances. In NSW, you should be aiming to meet the current version (2.1) at Level AA. 

There are plenty of tools available to help you meet the WCAG guidelines, including checklists and automated tools. But what can you do if you’re not a designer or developer but you do want to know how accessible a site is? If you’re not a technical person, or new to accessibility, it can be overwhelming knowing where to start.  

Keep it simple with our condensed checklist  

We worked with Vision Australia to develop a checklist to help get you started. This checklist addresses some of the major parts of the WCAG standard and will help build your confidence. It does not require prior WCAG knowledge or technical expertise. There are just nine checks that are easy to identify and test.  

Anyone can use the checklist at any time, but we recommend building it into regular health checks during project development or pre-deployment. You can also use the checklist when you’re looking to buy a product or service from a third-party vendor. All you need is your internet browser (Chrome, Edge, or Safari) and the Colour Contrast Analyser offered by TPGI or WebAim

This is not a comprehensive check 

Nothing will replace an external audit. This check will only get you some of the way to making your product accessible. For complete compliance it’s best to get an external audit from a reputable supplier.  

You can start by using the checklist to note down changes to be made in the next product update and be ready to highlight them to your vendor.  

What’s coming next 

At the end of April, we held a test session with 30 project managers and Vision Australia. We learned how to run some of the basic accessibility checks and talked about how to apply accessibility principles in the design of our work. We got some great feedback and we’re thinking about how we can scale accessibility capability more broadly across the NSW public service.  

We’re want to test and learn so if there’s anything you want to learn more about or feedback you’d like to give on the checklist, please reach out to us through the accessibility community page