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 Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) & web accessibility

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BenedictTechnician
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Join date : 2010-06-22
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PostSubject: Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) & web accessibility   Tue Jun 29, 2010 9:46 am

For more info: http://www.webcredible.co.uk/user-friendly-resources/web-accessibility/uk-website-legal-requirements.shtml

Section III of the DDA, which refers to accessible websites, came into force on 1st October 1999 and the Code of Practice for this section of the DDA was published on 27th May 2002. This means that the majority of websites have been in breach of the law for over eight years.

Can you be sued?

Basically, yes. The RNIB has approached two large companies with regard to their websites. When they raised the accessibility issues of the websites under the DDA, both companies made the necessary changes, rather than facing the prospect of legal action (in exchange for anonymity). The DRC launched a formal investigation into 1000 websites, of which over 80% were next to impossible for disabled people to use. They issued a stern warning that organisations will face legal action under the DDA and the threat of unlimited compensation payments if they fail to make websites accessible for people with disabilities.

How do you comply?

It's widely believed that if, or perhaps more appropriately when, a case makes it to court that the W3C accessibility guidelines will be used to assess a website's accessibility and ultimately decide the outcome of the case. The W3C is the Internet governing body and its web accessibility guidelines can be found on its website. To further complicate matters, the W3C offers three different levels of compliance. Priority 1 guidelines, (which must be satisfied according to the W3C) will almost certainly have to be adhered to. Priority 2 guidelines (which should be satisfied and are the EU recommended level of compliance), or some part of, will probably need to be adhered to too. The courts will also no doubt take guidance from the outcome of an Australian case in 2000, when a blind man successfully sued the Sydney Olympics organising committee over their inaccessible website. (The Australian Disability Discrimination Act quite closely resembles that of the UK's.) UK courts may also take into account the New York case against Ramada.com and Priceline.com, who were also successfully sued over the accessibility of their website.

reference: http://www.webcredible.co.uk/user-friendly-resources/web-accessibility/uk-website-legal-requirements.shtml
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