Australian banks reviewed for web accessibility

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Monday, 11 March 2013 12:15pm

Australia’s top banking websites have been tested by independent experts who found that many do not meet the needs of users with disability. The results of the study will be presented at the Edge of the Web conference this week by accessibility consultant Vivienne Conway and Media Access Australia’s Dr Scott Hollier.

Seven online banking services, including ANZ, NAB, Commonwealth, Westpac and St George were looked at. The results varied widely with the best, NAB, scoring an overall 8/10 while the worst, Police & Nurses, scored just 2/10.

The main barriers to access included unlabelled links, menus that do not work with just a keyboard and, in the case of Police & Nurses, a login page that was completely impossible for someone with a screen reader to use. There were also elements across websites which indicate a lack of awareness within the banking sector, including poor navigation, a cluttered layout and poor overall usability.

Dr Hollier said that for many people, accessibility will prove more of a deciding factor in their choice of bank than interest rates.

“Banking is essential infrastructure for everyone and an inaccessible website can have a devastating effect on a disabled person’s financial wellbeing and sense of social inclusion,” he said.

Edge of the Web is hosted by the Australian Web Industry Association. Conway and Hollier’s presentation, Bank Accessibility Report, is at 2.30pm on Thursday in the Development track.

Dr Scott Hollier also co-lectures the Professional Certificate in Web Accessibility with Associate Professor Denise Scott of the University of South Australia.

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