An accessibility statement tells users about the accessibility of the site and how to contact the site for help with, or to give feedback on, accessibility problems.
The statement is a declaration of the website owner’s commitment to accessibility and the needs of disabled people.
A website does not need to be fully accessible before publishing an accessibility statement.
Note: Having an accessibility statement is not a requirement of the New Zealand Government Web Accessibility Standard, but it is recommended best practice. It’s likely to become a formal requirement in the next version of the Standard.
Why accessibility statements are important
In New Zealand, any organisation that serves the public must provide disabled people with equal access to online information and services.
Benefits to disabled people
An accessibility statement helps disabled people understand:
- the level of accessibility they can expect from the site
- what parts of the website have accessibility barriers
- how to get accessibility help or information
- how to report a problem.
An accessibility statement:
- communicates an organisation’s commitment to accessibility
- can help an organisation reduce risk by including information about ongoing monitoring, evaluation and remediation to address accessibility barriers on the site.
What to include in an accessibility statement
The following information is useful to include in an accessibility statement.
- Provide a choice of contact details that people with different types of disabilities can use to give feedback if they encounter barriers on the website or to request information in an alternate format.
- Reference who is responsible for the site.
- List the standards, policies and anti-discrimination laws that the organisation is committed to following.
- List the supported web browsers and assistive technologies that are compatible with the site.
- Summarise the site’s accessibility features.
- Acknowledge the site’s current accessibility barriers that the organisation is working on.
- When the site is audited for accessibility, give the date of the latest audit.
- Provide accessibility tips on how people can customise and improve their experience of the site to meet their individual needs, including links to other disability-related resources that might be helpful for users of different devices and operating systems.
How to write an accessibility statement
For guidance on how to create an accessibility statement, see:
Examples of accessibility statements
- Accessibility statement — Annual Report 2021 — Ministry of Social Development
- Accessibility statement — GOV.UK
- Accessibility Statement for WAI Website — W3C
Where to put an accessibility statement
Make the website’s accessibility statement easy to find. Put links to it in places like the:
- site-wide footer
- ‘About’ page
- help menu
Keeping an accessibility statement up to date
Accessibility work to meet the needs of disabled people who visit your website is an ongoing process. Update the information on the statement:
- whenever the accessibility of the website improves or worsens
- when assistive technologies change
- when relevant legislation, regulation or policy is updated.