Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Most UK Websites are Illegal Under Disability Rules

See this article by that title. It begins:

UK Disability Discrimination legislation includes specific accessibility requirements for website owners which are rarely followed currently. However, with surveys showing that up to 80% of UK sites are in breach of the requirements and threats of prosecutions, how long can small businesses continue to ignore the law?

Berkshire Internet Consultant, Graeme Rhodes, explains why a legal website is good for business and how the cost of compliance can be minimised.

It’s one of the best kept secrets on the web, but following the final implementation of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) in 2004 UK website owners have been legally obliged to provide universal access to the services that may be accessed via their sites. This means that your business’ website must be user-friendly to everyone, regardless of any visual or hearing impairment or any other disability that could affect their use of the site.

The scale of the impact of this legislation has been illustrated in research undertaken by the Disability Rights Commission (DRC) which found that 80% of sites sampled were in breach of the law with many being virtually impossible for disabled people to use. In fact, the code of practice governing the specific section of the DDA relating to accessible websites was actually published in 2002, so many of these site owners could have been breaking the law for up to four years.


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