Disability Discrimination Act
Accessible Web Design
If making your Web site accessible to all users including those with special needs is an issue then we can help. Our Managing Director Nigel Peck is recognised within the Web Accessibility community and is involved with both consultancy and development of Accessible solutions for a number of prominent public and private sector projects. He is also:
- An author with a number of published articles,
- A regular contributor to Accessify,
- The founder and administrator of Accessify Forum and
- An Accessible Web Design trainer for the Sheffield Hallam University’s IT Foundry.
Nigel also delivers technical briefings covering Accessibility on behalf of Club UK Online. His presentation is available to download: W3C, Web Standards and Accessibility.
Why is Accessibility an issue?
If you would like to know why many Web sites are not accessible to users with special needs and disabilities please see our Managaing Director’s article An Introduction To Accessible Web Design.
Why is Accessibility important?
There are a number of reasons why Accessible Web Design is important. An accessible Web site is:
- A legal requirement in the UK
- Good for business
Legal Requirement – The Disability Discrimination Act
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 states that
“It is unlawful for a provider of services to discriminate against a disabled person”,
“it is irrelevant whether a service is provided on payment or without payment” and that examples include
“access to and use of information services”. If a Web site is not Accessible to disabled users it is in violation of the Disability Discrimination Act. The RNIB has been involved in a number of court cases against UK companies in relation to the DDA.
Accessibility – The Business Case
There are a large number of people in the UK with a disability that affects their use of Web sites, the figures speak for themselves:
- 59 million – The approximate population of the United Kingdom
- 8.5 million – The number of people with some form of disability in the United Kingdom
- 2 million – The number of people with sight problems
- £40-50 billion – The combined estimated spending power of disabled people
Accessibility Is Ethical
The Web is a truly wonderful development for people with special needs or disabilities, they are able to reach information and services without the help of others that they could only have dreamed of accessing in the past. If your site is not accessible to them this benefit is lost. Any of us could find ourselves in the same position in the future, if you have a Web site or are considering developing one then making it Accessible to these users is the right thing to do. This is the reason we got involved with Accessibility and is at the heart of all our work in this area.
“For the first time in six years I’ve been able to complete my food shopping without sighted assistance. That felt brilliant.” A blind internet user [Source – RNIB]
Our Accessibility Services
Whether you are developing a small business site or a large scale software application, we run a flexible service with access to a network of experienced Accessibility consultants. We will ensure that your project receives the professional assistance it needs. We provide:
- Design & Development of Accessible Web Sites
- Accessibility Consultancy
- Site Reviews
Accessible Design & Development
Accessibility is taken into consideration as part of every project we undertake. We will ensure that your site is accessible within it’s agreed budget and without cause for concern. The level of work needed to build your site in an accessible manner varies depending on the content and features of the site, in some cases it may be necessary to recommend an alternative solution in order to maintain a level of Accessibility, and this will often depend on the budget you have available. We will ensure that your services are Accessible without adding unnecessarily to the cost of the site’s development.
We are closely involved with some of the most experienced and knowledgable Accessibility consultants in the world. If you have a project that requires an Accessibility Consultant, we will ensure that you have access to the skills you need to bring your project to market.
You may already have a site but wish to improve Accessibility. We will provide a review of your site, including a full written report with recommendations of the areas that need work.
Contact us for your free consultation.