The Disability Discrimination Act (1995) was superseded by the Equality Act in 2010 yet it still appears as a checkpoint in website development task lists.
The DDA and its regular amendments made it increasingly difficult for service providers and employers to shirk their responsibilities towards people who had differing access requirements. How that was to be done was described in a series of examples which illustrated a spirit of willingness to predict, respond and adapt to those requirements. Websites could be one of those adaptations. But the DDA said nothing about website accessibility standards. The Equality Act is similarly non-committal. So what guidance should be used?
The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) has created Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and conformance to checkpoints listed in the WCAG is the best way to improve access to your website.
Integrated HTML and CSS can provide a solid foundation for meeting WCAG checkpoints. Off the shelf content management systems may meet these standards too. Careful choice of theme and plug-ins will avoid accessibility problems. Accessibility should be a key priority during the development of the site’s content, functionality and design.
Red E Web Design can guide you through the complex task of setting Accessibility targets and maintaining them with your CMS.
- The DDA and the Equality Act are not web accessibility guidelines.
- The WAI WCAG checklists are a comprehensive description of the tasks required to produce and maintain an accessible site.