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About the Australia DDA


The case of Bruce Lindsay Maguire v Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games [4, 5, 6] established that the DDA covers web sites. WCAG was used in the case as a benchmark for web accessibility.

Related Information on UIAccess

DDA Introduction

The objectives of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) are "to eliminate, as far as possible, discrimination against persons on the ground of disability in the areas of: work, accommodation, education, access to premises, clubs and sport; and the provision of goods, facilities, services and land; and existing laws; and the administration of Commonwealth laws and programs; and to ensure, as far as practicable, that persons with disabilities have the same rights to equality before the law as the rest of the community; and to promote recognition and acceptance within the community of the principle that persons with disabilities have the same fundamental rights as the rest of the community."[1]

DDA Application to Internet Sites

While the Act itself does not directly address Internet sites, case law and supporting documents clearly indicate that Internet sites can be covered under DDA.

The World Wide Web Access: Disability Discrimination Act Advisory Notes[2] state that equal access to web sites is required by law:

Provision of information and other material through the Web is a service covered by the DDA... This requirement applies to any individual or organisation developing a World Wide Web page in Australia, or placing or maintaining a Web page on an Australian server.
This includes pages developed or maintained for purposes relating to employment; education; provision of services including professional services, banking, insurance or financial services, entertainment or recreation, telecommunications services, public transport services, or government services; sale or rental of real estate; sport; activities of voluntary associations; or administration of Commonwealth laws or programs. All these are areas specifically covered by the DDA.
In addition to these specific areas, provision of any other information or other services or facilities through the Internet is in itself a service and as such, discrimination in the provision of this service is covered by the DDA. The DDA applies to services whether provided for payment or not.

Guidelines for Web Accessibility

While the Act itself does not directly address accessibility standards or guidelines, case law and supporting documents clearly indicate that the W3C guidelines are an acceptable benchmark. Specifically, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) [3] from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) are commonly referenced.

The World Wide Web Access: Disability Discrimination Act Advisory Notes (Version 3.1 May 1999)[2] states:

Change from version 3 of these Advisory Notes: the main reference point endorsed by these Notes is now the World Wide Web Consortiumīs Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0

However, these notes do not constitute legal requirements:

These advisory notes are issued by the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission ("HREOC") under section 67(1)(k) of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 ("the DDA"), which authorises HREOC to issue guidelines for the purpose of avoiding discrimination. These Notes are not legal requirements: they are advice on how to avoid discrimination.

References and Resources

See also Government Laws, Regulations, Policies, Standards, and Support resources.


Information on this site is based on the knowledge, experience, and best judgments of Shawn Lawton Henry and other contributors. No warranties or guarantees are implied. Shawn Lawton Henry shall not be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, consequential, punitive or exemplary damages based on this information.
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