Web Accessibility and UK Law: Telling It Like It Is

by Trenton Moss

95 Reader Comments

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  1. To clarify a few points.
    Websites should be accessible for disabled users (ie Blind is just one type of disability).
    “Accessibility” & the goldrush – check out how many “experts” have been in design for more than 1 year.
    Most laws have been based on guidelines – not set in stone and are open to legal interpretation.
    Almost everyone has mentioned validation, css etc – how many have asked at least one disabled peron to review a site AND paid a professional fee fro that review.
    We designed and invested in BlindRadio.com to be accessible – it works and it does not meet AAA.
    oh…We’ve been designing products for about 20 years and are still not “experts”

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  2. To clarify a few points.
    Websites should be accessible for disabled users (ie Blind is just one type of disability).
    “Accessibility” & the goldrush – check out how many “experts” have been in design for more than 1 year.
    Most laws have been based on guidelines – not set in stone and are open to legal interpretation.
    Almost everyone has mentioned validation, css etc – how many have asked at least one disabled peron to review a site AND paid a professional fee for that review.
    We designed and invested in BlindRadio.com to be accessible – it works and it does not meet AAA.
    oh…We’ve been designing products for about 20 years and are still not “experts”

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  3. 1)
    Section 1.4 of the Code clearly states “The Code does not impose legal obligations.
    Nor is it an authoritative statement of the
    law – that is a matter for the courts.”
    A Code has a distinctly different legal meaning than a Law – it is NOT a law.
    2)
    The phrase “reasonable adjustments” does not define reasonable – this may be a very decisive factor in cases.
    It often indicates the “relative cost” – what is reasonable for a large business could be very expensive for a small business.
    Equally “reasonable” must take into account “fit for purpose” – the concept that a product is designed for its users and not for everybody – as practical examples, a printed newspaper is designed to be read by a sighted person – a music CD is not designed for the deaf.
    As technology develops, “reasonable” increases in scope but we have to stop running around like headless chickens and scaremongering. That will end in negative publicity for “accessability” and defeat the good work being done to open up the web to a larger audience.

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  4. I’d like to see more sites that aren’t with white backgrounds – working in a low lighting area, staring at a bright screen trying to pick out dark text is nearly as efficient as staring at the sun.

    That’s not just about accessibility, but about common sense.

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  5. About 8 years ago, while studying IT at college in the UK, I lost the vision in both my eyes temporarily, regaining 1 eyes perfect site a month later. The other however has severe vision problems, i have about 5% vision in the left eye with a very big problem with lights sensitivity. The web for me is a daily battle with headaches and eyestrain, caused by high contrast and small text.

    This however did not stop me going to university to study multimedia design, nor did hinder my chances of getting a job with a UK design firm. Another member of our design team is colour blind and is one of the better designers I know.

    Disability is perceived as being a hindrance, it is not. The disabled are not unable, just less able and to provide aid IS the right thing to do.

    Ask Daniel Brown whether he will be continuing his career after the accident that left him disabled, I don’t assume he will say “No the web wasn’t made for me to use”

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