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  1. #1
    Drupaler bronze trophy greg.harvey's Avatar
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    Arrow DDA changes do not affect websites

    I was one of the many people who swallowed all the media hype about the UK Disability Discrimination Act (1995) changes in October 2004 and how the last chance was now to bring any service websites up to date or you'd get your a*se sued off. Well, it seems that somebody somewhere misread (or didn't read) the changes. I finally bothered to research it myself rather than reading bulletin boards, etc. and it seems that if you're not up to speed, you're already illegal and have been operating illegally for the last 4 and a half years. The crucial changes occurred in October 1999 and the current changes do not affect websites at all. They affect small to medium sized businesses and relate to them upgrading their premises for disabled access.

    http://www.webcredible.co.uk/user-fr...irements.shtml

    That's not to say take your foot off the gas if you're a pro web developer with service providing sites that you're responsible for. In fact, you should put your foot down further. You're already in trouble! Who cares about October!

    G

  2. #2
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    yup, that's something i've pointed out quite a while ago over at http://www.accessifyforum.com - worth restating though.
    re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
    [latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
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  3. #3
    Robert Wellock silver trophybronze trophy xhtmlcoder's Avatar
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    Peddle-to-the-metal, many people didn't realise that and its hardly surprising if they do not place in crystal clear English..

  4. #4
    SitePoint Enthusiast PurplePenny's Avatar
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    At least the people who think that they only have till October are doing something about making their sites accessible. The people who still maintain that the DDA doesn't apply to websites at all are the real problem.

    Penny

  5. #5
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    These new duties will apply to businesses and to other providers of services to the public where physical features make access to their services impossible or unreasonably difficult for disabled people.

    Physical features could be mouse, keyboard, screen etc.?

  6. #6
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beanstalk
    Physical features could be mouse, keyboard, screen etc.?
    nope...<sarcasm>unless the company plans to come around to each user's PC and make physical changes to their mouse,keyboard,etc...</sarcasm>

    take it from us: the majority of people in the know about the DDA (as opposed to so called "experts" from some unscrupulous design agencies, trying to cash in on the accessibility bandwagon caused by the highly publicised DRC report) will agree that October 1999 is the date that applies to websites, not October 2004.

    as an addendum: if anybody gets confused by possibly hearing September 2002 bandied around as well...this was the date SENDA took effect http://www.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts2001/20010010.htm which effectively then became part IV of the main DDA, removing the previous exemption from the act granted to educational services.
    re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
    [latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
    WaSP Accessibility Task Force Member
    splintered.co.uk | photographia.co.uk | redux.deviantart.com

  7. #7
    Drupaler bronze trophy greg.harvey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beanstalk
    These new duties will apply to businesses and to other providers of services to the public where physical features make access to their services impossible or unreasonably difficult for disabled people.
    This much is true, however, it would be nice if privateers took the same stance. It must be pretty infuriating as a user who struggles with access to have a two-tier Internet, the bits you can access and the bits you can't. Imagine you're in Google and you don't know if your next click is going to dump you in to darkness or give you a nice, navigable web page?

    "Physical features" might be a JavaScript driven menu. If your menu is driven by JavaScript alone (using document.writeln for example) then it is inaccessible. If it works by showing/hiding layers, then that's more acceptable, but you'll still have hierarchy issues. JavaScript image maps would also be a problem of course. As would a navigation system that assumes you have the use of a mouse. The operating system makes no such assumption...

  8. #8
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    *goes away to investigate*
    Last edited by beanstalk; Jul 21, 2004 at 03:30.

  9. #9
    Also available in Large Si's Avatar
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    Surely this is why we should all be moving towards "web standards" (there's that buzz word again!) and ensuring we use semantic markup in a structurally correct way...?

    I know our company website is probably breaking most the rules when it comes to accessibility and as a gov't based service, it could throw up many issues. Which is why we are currently redesigning the site to make it more user-friendly and XHTML/CSS compliant.

    Useful link though Greg - I've sent it to all my colleagues working on the new website to make sure they're all aware of the Act.
    Si
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  10. #10
    High fives all round! bradley317's Avatar
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    I went to a conference recently where an RNIB representative claimed they had no intention of taking anyone to court. They prefer to work with people to make progress rather than just threaten them with legal action.

    Shame really. I can't see how the big players will take notice until someone gets hit in the pocket.
    Hello, hello, what's all this shouting?
    We'll have no trouble here

    (Helping a pal... http://www.funkdub.info)

  11. #11
    Drupaler bronze trophy greg.harvey's Avatar
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    Well they are taking people to court, so the representative was lying. They may prefer to work with people (which is nice) but they've clearly demonstrated they don't mind using the stick if the carrot doesn't work:

    http://www.whatpc.co.uk/News/1142213
    http://www.alistapart.com/discuss/accessuk/
    etc. etc.


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