Accessibility Tips

This website is designed to high standards of accessibility so that all site visitors can easily access its content and use its features. We will continue to work toward improving accessibility.

Portable document format (PDF)

There are some PDFs on this website. PDF is a universal file format by Adobe. It retains all the elements of a printed document as an electronic image. The PDF can be viewed, navigated, forwarded to others, or printed exactly as it appears on screen, using the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software.

Trouble opening a PDF

If you are experiencing problems opening a download file (such as a PDF or Word file), try saving it to your computer before you open it.

Listening to information in PDFs

Some PDFs on this website can be automatically read out loud. You will need sound on your computer and a recent version of the free Adobe PDF Reader software. Then:

  • open the PDF document
  • save it to your computer
  • on the top toolbar find the ‘view’ menu - open it
  • select ‘activate read out loud’.

If you still experience problems with PDFs

Tagged PDFs are more easily read using adaptive technologies. If you find a PDF you are unable to read, you can request a tagged version or we can provide it to you in an alternative format.

To do so, identify the information owner (found in the relevant page footer) and contact the department on 1300 650 172 with your request (local call fee within Victoria except mobile phones). More contact options are available on the Contact us page. 

Other file types

Information throughout the Department of Human Services (DHS) website is in HTML and a range of other formats. To open these other formats, you may need to download and install one or more of the following on your computer:

Microsoft Word

Document links indicated by .doc will open using the word processing package you have on your computer.

If you don't have Word, you can open and view Word documents within your browser using the free Microsoft Word Viewer.

Microsoft Excel

Document links indicated by .xls will open only if you have Excel installed. With the free Excel Viewer you can open, view, and print Excel based information, even if you don't have Excel installed. You can also copy data from the Excel Viewer to another program.

Microsoft PowerPoint

Presentation links indicated by .ppt will open as a slideshow only if you have PowerPoint installed.

If you don't have Microsoft PowerPoint you can use a free PowerPoint Viewer.

ZIP files

ZIP files are used for large files and can contain one or more files on the same topic. They are usually compressed to save space. ZIP files make it easy to group files and make transporting and copying these files faster.

Document links indicated by .zip will launch an expansion utility if you have one installed.

You can download the expansion utility appropriate to your operating system (PC or Mac):

Images

There are a few images on this website or within documents. The content of images is described using alt tags (alternative text).

Video or audio formats

DHS occasionally publishes guidance in video or audio format on this website. This requires a Media Player (for viewing interactive content). You may need to download and install one of the following:

  • Flash
  • Quicktime
  • Windows Media Player.

Accessibility features

Contact us to enquire about guidance in alternative formats.

Services for the hearing-impaired

The Australian Government offers the National Relay Service (NRS). It can help people with hearing or speech impairments experience better telephone conversations with reduced misunderstanding and repetition.  NRS subscribers can use the service to make appointments and business calls, and keep in touch with family and friends.

The Video Relay Interpreting (VRI) service make it possible for deaf people to communicate in Auslan with hearing people in the same room in various situations such as a health professional, legal service or job interview via a remote Auslan interpreter.

Links to other websites and documents

All links to external websites should open in a new browser window. Links to documents should open up a landing page in the same browser window which contains the file size and format of the document. Links to documents from these landing pages should then open the document in a new browser window.

Changing text appearance

Text size

Set the font size on your pages by selecting the big A or little A at the top-right of the screen.

Alternatively, you can change the text size settings in your Web browser. Just follow the instructions available from your Browser's 'Help' information.

Keyboard navigation

Keyboard navigation is an alternative to the mouse for browsing websites. This increases accessibility for visitors who have difficulty using a mouse or pointer tool.

Use the arrow keys to scroll up or down pages. Use the tab key to move between links (‘skip links’), and press return or enter to select one. Use the backspace key to go back to the previous page.

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