Accessibility

Equality Act 2010:

A useful web site:

More info from the RNIB


What about the tricksters demanding money with menaces?

Have you or one of your clients been told:

“your web site is illegal, pay us money to fix it up.”

if so some good advice from Mel Pedley of GAWDS:

“I contact them first of all and point out that what they are saying/publishing is incorrect. If that fails, I’ve been known to send any relevant URL to the DRC (http://www.drc-gb.org/) with a note that they might be interested in the claims that are being made. They can, and sometimes have, got in touch with those responsible.

Nine times out of 10, the second step is not necessary. Once false claims are highlighted, they tend to disappear pretty quickly.

To reassure clients, quote from PAS 78 (Section 9):
“9.1.1 It is not possible to provide a definitive specification for a fully accessible website which will satisfy the requirements of the DDA. Website commissioners should therefore be sceptical if contracting companies declare that they will create websites that are “DDA-compliant” or “compliant with the law”.”

Obviously, the reverse case will also be true. It is currently impossible to legally define any site as “illegal”.

Your local Trading Standards office might also be interested in those making unsupportable claims for the purpose of profit.”

and how do we differentiate ourselves from them?

Mel continues:

“I generally try to point as many clients, or potential clients, towards PAS 78 as possible on the grounds that informed site owners make better clients and are less likely to be intimidated by false claims. The fraudsters can normally only operate if clients don’t have access to reputable sources of information, so by encouraging them to ask questions and demonstrating that you’re only to happy to point them in the right direction, you cast suspicion on the fraudsters who are unlikely to do the same.

Also encourage clients to ask for references, examples of previous work and generally carry out all of the checks they would normally do with any other kind of supplier.

Membership of GAWDS (http://www.gawds.org/) and other reputable associations is helpful but, if you have a decent backlog of work or articles behind you, it can go a long way towards persuading people that you really do know what you’re talking about.”

So there you have it.

Do make your sites accessible, advise your clients where they might fall foul of the DDA and ensure you “take reasonable steps to change a practice which makes it unreasonably difficult for disabled people to make use of your services”.

But please don’t frighten clients and try to win extra work on the basis of “illegal websites”.

Get a copy of PAS 78 here:
http://www.hobo-web.co.uk/seo-blog/index.php/pas-78/