As part of the ABCB’s commitment to delivering an NCC that is user-friendly, modern and accessible to practitioners at all experience levels, NCC 2022 comes with some important changes. Here’s what to expect with the code’s new Web Content Accessibility.
To support practitioners through these changes, the ABCB has developed a range of resources that explain how and why the NCC is changing, and what it means in practice. Keep an eye out for more detailed materials on each topic, as they're released in the lead up to the release of the NCC 2022 Public Comment Draft in May, 2021.
As a government organisation, the ABCB and the NCC as an ABCB publication, is required to meet Level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1. By meeting these guidelines, it ensures the NCC can be accessed by a wide range of people and its content can be interpreted by screen reader technology, should users need it. An added benefit to ensuring the code is WCAG accessible is that its content becomes easier to digest and user-friendly, which goes a long way in improving its readability.
We’ve made some simple improvements to NCC 2022 in order to reach a Level AA standard which do not alter the intent of the code in any way. For example, in previous editions of the NCC, tables were sometimes used to visually arrange text, rather than to present tabular data. Another example from the current and previous editions are tables with complex arrangements of merged cells, blank cells and multiple layers of column headers. These not only don’t meet the accessibility requirements, they also make the code more difficult to read and interpret.
How did we do this?
Essentially, to solve these problems we’ve improved the visual display of information throughout NCC 2022. Tables have been simplified and where necessary, split, to reduce the use of merged cells and header levels. This means that both tables and clauses are easier for readers to interpret, as well as being more recognisable because they are all presented and structured in a consistent way.
Check out our other ABCB Connect articles and keep an eye out for a whole range of resources being released over the coming weeks and months, which provide more in-depth information on each of the key changes to NCC 2022. But if you have a question or concerns in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.