Putting the finishing touches to our website for London based architects Haddon Few Montuschi. Their new site is due to launch a week today.
DDA compliant web sites
Website Accessibility is enshrined in the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).
Part III of the DDA refers to the provision of goods, facilities and services. The Code of Practice specifically mentions websites.
The relevant quotes from the 175-page Code of Practice are:
- 2.2 (p7): ?The Disability Discrimination Act makes it unlawful for a service provider to discriminate against a disabled person by refusing to provide any service which it provides to members of the public.?
- 4.7 (p39): ?From 1st October 1999 a service provider has to take reasonable steps to change a practice which makes it unreasonably difficult for disabled people to make use of its services.?
- 2.13 - 2.17 (p11-13): ?What services are affected by the Disability Discrimination Act? An airline company provides a flight reservation and booking service to the public on its website. This is a provision of a service and is subject to the act.?
- 5.23 (p71): ?For people with visual impairments, the range of auxiliary aids or services which it might be reasonable to provide to ensure that services are accessible might include ... accessible websites.?
- 5.26 (p68): ?For people with hearing disabilities, the range of auxiliary aids or services which it might be reasonable to provide to ensure that services are accessible might include ... accessible websites.?
Most people believe that the new laws were implemented in October 2004 when the final part of the DDA came into force. This final piece of legislation actually refered to service providers having to consider making permanent physical adjustments to their premises and is not related to the Internet in any way.
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 since then.
Can you be sued?
Yes you can. 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).
In an Australian case in 2000, 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). Ramada.com and Priceline.com were also successfully sued in America over the accessibility of their websites.
Volute and Accessibility
Volute takes Accessibility issues very seriously, and we ensure that all our sites are accessible.
Accessibility and New Website Builds
Volute includes WCAG Priority 1 accessibility (Level A) as standard with all new website builds, and aims for Priority 2 (Level AA) or Priority 3 (Level AAA) where achievable.
We include a range of Accessibility aids, including
- Ability to adjust the text size
- Access Keys
Accessibility And Your Existing Site
We can also take your existing website and make it accessible ? providing your visitors (and search engines) with full access to your site.
Keeping your original design, Volute can edit your existing site to meet WCAG Priority 1 accessibility or higher.
Think about the visitors you could be missing out on. Contact Volute today.
Accessible website design is good for your business.
Making your website accessible opens your business up to the widest possible range of customers. After all, it would be bad business to turn potential customers away at the digital door.
We design our clients' websites to not only be accessible but also very search engine friendly - higher search engine rankings lead to increased visibility with more customer traffic.
Being inaccessible is bad for your business.
It's bad for business because:
- It gives visually-impaired and motor-impaired users a bad impression, intimating that your business doesn't care about them.
- It costs you lost revenue from customers going elsewhere.
- Prosecution under the Disability Discrimination Act with the resulting cost in both damages and negative publicity that that entails.