Web Accessibility Standard 1.0

For a general overview of this Standard, see About the Web Accessibility Standard.

For help related to this Standard’s requirement, refer to the guidance.

1 Application

1.1 Context

1.1.1 This Standard replaces the Technical section of the New Zealand Government Web Standards 2.0.

1.2 Mandated organisations

1.2.1 Application of this Standard is mandatory for all Public Service departments and Non-Public Service departments in the State Services.

1.3 Scope

1.3.1 The requirement in Section 2 applies to:

1.4 Implementation schedule

1.4.1 This Standard comes into effect 01 July 2013.

1.4.2 Implementation of this Standard takes a phased approach. Every year, an increasing number of web pages are required to conform. By 01 July 2017, all web pages must conform to this Standard.

1.4.3 The following sets out the four phases of the implementation schedule and which web pages must be made conforming during each phase.

Web pages that must be made conforming
Phase Publicly available Internally facing
#1
July 2013 – June 2014
  • not applicable
#2
July 2014 – June 2015
#3
July 2015 – June 2016
#4
July 2016 – June 2017

1.5 Assessment and reporting

1.5.1 Each New Zealand Government organisation to which this Standard applies must be prepared, when notified, to:

  • assess and report on its conformance with this Standard; and,
  • in the case of non-conformance with this Standard, submit a risk assessment and management plan regarding any areas of non-conformance.

2 Requirement

2.1 Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0

2.1.1 Each web page must meet all five conformance requirements of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, where the conformance level is Level AA (subject to the exceptions set out in Section 3).

3 Exceptions

3.1 Temporary exceptions

3.1.1 The requirement in Section 2 is subject to the exceptions set out in this Section. These exceptions will be reviewed annually and this Standard updated as necessary.

3.2 Complex visual maps

3.2.1 Complex visual maps that associate information with one or more points or shapes that cannot reasonably be represented by common identifiers such as postal addresses or the names of specific places or regions are exempt from the requirement set by WCAG Success Criterion (SC) 1.1.1 Non-text Content to provide a text alternative that serves the equivalent purpose. An example of a complex map is one that shows the distribution of different underground mineral deposits in New Zealand.

3.2.2 Where data points or shapes within a map can be represented by common identifiers such as postal addresses or the names of specific places or regions, the map must, in accordance with WCAG SC 1.1.1 Non-text Content, be accompanied by a text alternative that serves the equivalent purpose.

3.2.3 Complex map data should be published in open, machine-readable formats, and exposed through the data.govt.nz website.

3.3 Alternatives for time-based media (descriptive text transcripts)

3.3.1 In order to meet WCAG 2.0 SC 1.2.1 Audio-only and Video-only (Prerecorded) and WCAG 2.0 SC 1.2.3 Audio Description or Media Alternative (Prerecorded), an alternative for time-based media (descriptive text transcript) must be provided in all cases for prerecorded audio-only, prerecorded video-only, and prerecorded synchronised media.

3.3.2 An audio description should be provided for prerecorded video-only or synchronised media that contains high-stakes information or services.

3.4 Captions

3.4.1 In order to meet WCAG 2.0 SC 1.2.2 Captions (Prerecorded), a grace period of 10 business days is granted from the date of the synchronised media’s initial publication to when captions for the media’s prerecorded audio content must be provided, except when the media content contains high-stakes information or services, in which case captions must be made available at the time of the media’s initial publication.

3.5 Live captions

3.5.1 In order to meet WCAG SC 1.2.4 Captions (Live), captions must be provided for the live audio content in all synchronised media that delivers high-stakes information or services where the equivalent information or services are not simultaneously published as text. Live synchronised media that does not present high-stakes information or services is exempt from the requirement set by WCAG SC 1.2.4 Captions (Live) to provide captions.

3.5.2 If the live synchronised media is subsequently published as prerecorded media, captions and an alternative for time-based media (descriptive text transcript) must be provided.

3.6 Audio descriptions

3.6.1 All synchronised media are exempt from the requirement set by WCAG 1.2.5 Audio Description (Prerecorded) to provide audio description for all prerecorded video content in the media.

4 Glossary

Archived web page

A web page:

  • whose main content is available for reference purposes but otherwise neither maintained nor updated;
  • whose main content is clearly marked as archived; and,
  • that includes accessible instructions on how a user can request an accessible version of its content.
Core information or services

Online information or services that are not high-stakes.

Created, redesigned, or redeveloped

Created refers to a web page where a substantial degree of its main content is new, i.e., not previously published on the website.

Redesigned refers to a web page that has undergone changes to establish a substantially new or different visual design, information architecture, etc., for a website or significant portion thereof.

Redeveloped refers to a web page that has undergone changes to use substantially new or different front-end markup (HTML, CSS, and/or JavaScript) for a website or significant portion thereof.

High-stakes information or services

Online information or services whose inaccessibility at the time of publication could reasonably be expected to have a negative impact on an individual’s emergency preparedness and response, health and safety, or critical civil and political rights, entitlements, services, or obligations. Examples include information or services related to:

  • civil emergencies and responses;
  • entitlement or access to benefits, education, consumer or other community protections, passports, or visas;
  • rights in criminal and civil proceedings;
  • central government elections or referenda;
  • tax obligations and rebates;
  • general health information, specific health advice, health and safety in employment.
Internally facing

A website or web page that:

  • is produced or maintained, in part or in whole, by the New Zealand Government organisation to which this Standard applies; and,
  • can be accessed only by individuals who are employed by a New Zealand Government Public Service department or Non-Public Service department in the State Services

Web pages that are part of an intranet are considered to be internally facing.

Main content

The content specific to a web page and directly related to that web page’s principal topic or functionality.

Must

As defined in IETF RFC2119, indicates an absolute requirement.

Must not

As defined in IETF RFC2119, indicates an absolute prohibition.

Publicly available

A website or web page that:

  • is produced or maintained, in part or in whole, by the New Zealand Government organisation to which this Standard applies; and,
  • can be accessed by individuals who are not employed by a New Zealand Government Public Service department or Non-Public Service department in the State Services.

This includes a website or web page behind a login authentication mechanism that controls access by users outside the responsible New Zealand Government organisation.

Relied on (technologies that are)

The content would not conform if that technology is turned off or is not supported.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. Copyright © 2008 W3C® (MIT, ERCIM, Keio), All Rights Reserved.
Should

As defined in IETF RFC2119, indicates a recommended course of action that there may be valid reasons under certain conditions to ignore, the full implications of which must be understood and carefully weighed before doing so.

Website

A coherent collection of one or more related web pages that together provide common use or functionality. It includes static web pages, dynamically generated web pages, and web applications.

Note: … Websites may be composed of smaller sub-sites, each of which can be considered to be an individual website. For example, a website may include an online shop, an area for each department within the organization, a blog area, and other areas that may each be considered to be a website.

Website Accessibility Conformance Evaluation Methodology (WCAG-EM) 1.0. Copyright © 2013 W3C® (MIT, ERCIM, Keio, Beihang), All Rights Reserved.

A department’s corporate website (e.g. agency.govt.nz) may comprise multiple sections (e.g. agency.govt.nz/service-a and agency.govt.nz/service-b) owned and/or administered by organisationally distinct units within the department. For the purposes of this Standard, these individual sections may be considered separate websites.

Note that collections of web pages located at different fourth-level domains that belong to the same third-level domain, e.g. projectA.agency.govt.nz and projectB.agency.govt.nz, constitute separate websites.

Web page

A non-embedded resource obtained from a single URI using HTTP plus any other resources that are used in the rendering or intended to be rendered together with it by a user agent.

Note 1: Although any “other resources” would be rendered together with the primary resource, they would not necessarily be rendered simultaneously with each other.

Note 2: For the purposes of conformance with these guidelines, a resource must be “non-embedded” within the scope of conformance to be considered a Web page.

Example 1: A Web resource including all embedded images and media.

Example 2: A Web mail program built using Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX). The program lives entirely at http://example.com/mail, but includes an inbox, a contacts area and a calendar. Links or buttons are provided that cause the inbox, contacts, or calendar to display, but do not change the URI of the page as a whole.

Example 3: A customizable portal site, where users can choose content to display from a set of different content modules.

Example 4: When you enter “http://shopping.example.com/” in your browser, you enter a movie-like interactive shopping environment where you visually move around in a store dragging products off of the shelves around you and into a visual shopping cart in front of you. Clicking on a product causes it to be demonstrated with a specification sheet floating alongside. This might be a single-page Web site or just one page within a Web site.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. Copyright © 2008 W3C® (MIT, ERCIM, Keio), All Rights Reserved.

Note that this definition of web page includes what are commonly referred to as web applications.