03/27/08
Website Accessibility Rules – When will they become regulated?

Surely, it’s only a matter of time until the first high-profile case hits the media?

The Times Amazon Mock-Up

At present, websites offering full interactivity for those with disabilites are rare.

The UK Disability Discrimation Act (DDA) 2005 offers only a vague statement regarding the obligations of website owners, but it’s general stance, that anyone with a disability should never be excluded, still stands strong.

It’s by no means an easy job, catering for many possibilities, such as:

  • Complete Blindness
  • Colour Blindness
  • General Poor Vision
  • Tremors/Shakes in the hands or arms
  • Hearing Impairments
  • Seizures caused by strobing/flash effects
  • Learning Difficulties e.g. dyslexia

Each of the above represents a unqiue set of challenges for web designers, web developers and online marketers.

There are several organisations that have issued detailed guidelines on web accessibility, but as yet, none have been inforced. W3C guidelines and specifications (in particular WCAG) are highly regarded as are the PAS 78 guidelines issued in 2006 by the Disablity Rights Commission.

It’s a hard expense for a business owner to justify if their industry has an extremely low percentage of disabled customers. But once the first high-profile legal case against a website is actioned, the flood gates will no doubt open?