Monday, July 30th, 2012
Work by Media Access Australia confirms Transperth as among the least accessible of high traffic Australian web sites. The Australian Web Industry Association believes government departments providing important services should regularly review web site performance and is critical of Transperth for its shortcomings.

An examination of the site conducted by accessibility expert Dr Scott Hollier, identifies issues in nine of the 12 WCAG 2.0 guidelines, which the West Australian government has said it will adhere to by the end of 2013, one year later than all other Australian states.

The accessibility guidelines are intended to improve web access for sight and mobility-impaired users but also for people who have slow Internet connections.

Issues on the website include:
• Poor contrast
• Lack of alternative text for standalone images and images used as links
• Cluttered interface which is difficult to navigate
• Difficult to use Journey Planner: even if you type in the exact name of the location/landmark, it still prompts you with a box of options to confirm that you’ve entered the correct option
• Coding errors on the webpage make it difficult to use a screen reader
• Some drop-down options change automatically when highlighted making it difficult to use with a keyboard
• Forms are missing labels
• Text like ‘click here’ is used for links instead of more descriptive terms, meaning people using screen readers won’t know what the links are for.

AWIA committee member Bret Treasure adds, “the Journey Planner is so poor that many people use Google Maps to find the bus stop number then copy that information across to the Transperth site.

“The last upgrade in functionality seems to have been in 2006. If the site meets the Guidelines by 2013, it’ll be seven years between drinks. Meanwhile, they’re spending $1.8M a year on advertising and research. Key infrastructure sites should be reviewed annually, especially when they fall this short. They’re in the information business, but reluctantly.”

Contact Profile

Australian Web Industry Association

The Australian Web Industry Association aims to educate the public about the industry and help members with professional development. It does this through Port80 networking events, the Edge of the Web Conference and the Australian Web Awards, which recognise excellence in web development and design across the country. AWIA represents over 700 companies and freelancers.

Media Access Australia is an independent not-for-profit organisation devoted to increasing access to media for people with disabilities.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 are a range of recommendations for making Web content more accessible. They’re developed by the W3C; an international community led by Tim Berners-Lee and CEO Jeffrey Jaffe working to develop web standards.
Bret Treasure
P: 040 990 8133


Transperth, Media Access Australia, Australian Web Industry Association, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines



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