[LINK] Unlawful discrimination by National Archives of Australia
Tom.Worthington at tomw.net.au
Fri Sep 28 09:32:46 EST 2007
On Wednesday I received a message from National Archives of Australia
inviting me to "Discovering Archives workshop - 26 October 2007". At
first I thought this was image spam (a message with just an image to
circumvent spam filters), but then noticed the NAA address. I
contacted the NAA and found that what they had sent was an invitation
to an event in the form of an image. When I looked closely at the
image I found it did contain the details of an event in October.
However, the text was difficult to read.
I suggested that the NAA include the text of such announcements in
the body of the message as text. In this way the NAA will not be
mistaken for a Spammer and invitations will be readable by the
disabled. An email reply from the NAA agreed that details on the
email flyer were difficult to read, particularly for someone who may
be visually impaired.
Unfortunately the NAA's proposed solution, to increase the size of
text in the image on future messages, missed the point. If you can't
see an image, then making it bigger will not make it readable. Also
making the image bigger will have disadvantages for Internet users on
AGIMO has guidelines on the design of web pages so they are
accessible to the disabled
<http://webpublishing.agimo.gov.au/Accessibility>. Failing to do so
may breech the Australia's Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)
<http://www.hreoc.gov.au/disability_rights/webaccess/>. While the
AGIMO guidelines do not mention email, the general principles would
appear applicable, as would the DDA.
To add insult to injury, NAA suggested that I could taken off the
mailing list if I did not want to receive the messages. Clearly NAA
have not applied best practice in this case and are not delivering
services fairly, effectively or courteously and are not sensitive to
the diversity of the Australian public.
Tom Worthington FACS HLM tom.worthington at tomw.net.au Ph: 0419 496150
Director, Tomw Communications Pty Ltd ABN: 17 088 714 309
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617 http://www.tomw.net.au/
Visiting Fellow, ANU Blog: http://www.tomw.net.au/blog/atom.xml
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