GovHack and accessibility

So I’m a mentor for GovHack. I’m in Canberra but I’m available to anyone over the weekend. Just contact me via one of the methods below:

  • Email me (
  • Tweet me (@accessibilityoz)
  • Skype me (gianwild)

GovHack has just launched and everyone is talking through their ideas, and it certainly isn’t time for accessibility yet. But it will be soon!

Accessibility: we don’t have time!

Yes you do! What I learned from judging FullCodePress is that there is always time! And remember, you are working with Government data so you need to meet Government requirements, and one of those requirements is accessibility.

Hold on, what’s accessibility?

Don’t know about accessibility? Read my short overview of accessibility on Sitepoint. And when it comes to Government, you need to meet some very specific requirements. You need to meet the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, Version 2.0 and meet the following deadlines:

  • WCAG2 Level A compliance, Dec 2012
  • WCAG2 Level AA compliance, Dec 2014

Yeah, but they are the web guidelines. We’re building a mobile app!

You still need to think about accessibility. The BBC has written an excellent set of guidelines for mobile sites and mobile apps.

Ok, so we do that the end, right?

No! You need to think about it in very specific phases:

  • Design
  • Development
  • Content

I’ll be posting on exactly what you need to do for these three phases over the weekend.

Check out these personas for examples of how people with disabilities will use your data

AEGIS has some great personas on people with disabilities, including people with cognitive impairments, hearing impairments, vision impairments, communication received and producing impairments and upper limb impairments.