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Accessible Communications: Tapping the Potential in Public ICT Procurement Policy

Date: November 2012

Language: English

Author: William Tibben and Gunela Astbrink

Publisher: University of Wollongong, Australia

Format: PDF

Size: 2.0 MB

Pages: 117


Australia has a history of early adoption for all things digital. While information and communications technologies continue to advance in ever-shortening development cycles, advances in technologies that are usable and accessible by people with disabilities struggle to keep up | Published by University of Wollongong and GSA Information Consultants - 2012

This University of Wollongong research project, funded by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), explores how government procurement policy can have positive implications for many consumers with disability; providing greater access to the digital economy of the 21st Century. The report explores the connection between government purchasing (usually called public procurement) of information and communications technologies (ICTs) and improving outcomes for people with disabilities.

The findings from this research support the introduction of accessibility criteria in the procurement of ICTs and related services. The case studies detail the benefits of including mandatory accessibility criteria in public procurement policy but found that voluntary accessibility criteria did not produce similar effects to mandatory criteria. Indeed, the report argues that the mainstreaming of ICT accessibility criteria through mandatory application is potentially transformative.

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