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Planning for accessibility

Planning for accessibility at the beginning of your web projects will ensure they deliver online and print information that is accessible for disabled people.

HTML format

For web content to be accessible, it needs to be provided in HTML, the standard markup for web pages. Information provided in HTML format should use accessible:

  • semantic markup — using HTML tags that describe their contents — for example, <button>
  • typefaces — sans serif fonts like Arial, Helvetica, Lucida Sans, Tahoma and Verdana
  • layout — easy to scan with hierarchical headings, bulleted and ordered lists, and descriptive links
  • graphs or pictures — described and referenced in the text.

For more, see Semantic HTML markup — NZ Government.

Alternate formats

Some disabled people need content to be provided in formats other than HTML. To learn about these different types of formats, who uses them and how to create them, see Alternate formats.

Collaboration — engage with Disabled People’s Organisations

Government organisations are encouraged to work collaboratively with the Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) to make sure that government information and services are accessible to disabled people.

For a list of the individual DPOs, see How to contact Disabled People’s Organisations — Office for Disability Issues

User testing

Potential users can test for accessibility — talk to the relevant Disabled People’s Organisations if you need help testing with disabled people.

Feedback and shared learning

Give your audience opportunities to provide feedback using tools like web page feedback forms and having a contact on your website’s accessibility statement. Remember to respond to feedback in a timely way.

Feedback is a useful way to review how accessible a product or service is, and to find out more about your audience and their needs.

Share your experiences with colleagues and provide training where needed.

Tender documents and contracts

Accessibility is a non-negotiable requirement for potential contractors and providers.

Before engaging a contractor or provider, make sure that:

  • your tender documents include accessibility requirements
  • the supplier provides evidence that their products or services can comply with accessible requirements
  • the contract contains clear clauses that define what the accessibility requirements are and an agreed process if the supplier delivers services that do not meet the Web Accessibility Standard.

Example of wording for tender documents and contracts

Always work with your legal team when preparing wording for tender documents and contracts. The following text can be a template to start from.

[NZ Government organisation] is legally obligated and committed to ensuring that its information, products and services are accessible to everyone. [Supplier] shall:

  1. deliver all applicable services and products in reasonable compliance with applicable New Zealand Government standards (for example, NZ Government Web Accessibility Standard 1.1)
  2. upon request, provide [NZ Government organisation] with its accessibility testing results and written documentation verifying accessibility
  3. promptly respond to and resolve accessibility complaints
  4. indemnify and hold [NZ Government organisation] harmless in the event of claims arising from inaccessibility.

Utility links and page information

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