Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) & web accessibility
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Joined: Jun 2010
01-10-2010, 10:04 AM

Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) & web accessibility

There seems to be widespread speculation about the legislation introduced under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), which ensures that websites are accessible to blind and disabled users. Try to find specific information about what the law requires you to do and chances are you'll come up empty handed.
The RNIB (Royal National Institute for the Blind) and the DRC (Disability Rights Commission), two of the most renowned advocates for the DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) and accessible websites, have no specific information about the laws and what websites specifically need to do in order to meet the legal requirements.
What does the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) state?
Part III of the DDA refers to the provision of goods, facilities and services. The Code of Practice which specifically mentions websites, can be downloaded in its entirety from the Equality and Human Rights Commission website.
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.”

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