The recent standard, ‘accessibility requirements suitable for public procurement of ICT products and services’, will now makeup portion of the technical specifications used by entire government departments when procuring ICT products and services, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said.

This will “ensure that entire Australians can access information and employ services electronically” from public authorities and other public sector agencies, Cormann said.

The standard is based on European Standard EN 301 549, the first European standard for accessible ICT, which was published in 2014. 

Technology expert Paul Haswell of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com said: “Accessibility of public services is essential in numerous jurisdictions, including Australia, in order to avoid possible claims of discrimination beneath human rights law and regulations. With the majority of services in the majority of developed jurisdictions now moving to the internet, it is necessary to ensure such services are accessible by entire. Therefore the recent standards adopted by the Australian government are essential to ensure nobody suffers exclusion due to disability.”

The Australian Human Rights Commission published a report endure year into the accessibility of IT in the Australian public service, which stressed the require to improve accessibility to increase the number of populace with disabilities working in the sector.