You may be aware of net-guide, an Internet search engine designed to return only those web sites that are accessible to disabled web users.
Net Guide is produced by Internet consultancy Net Progress. Having received positive feedback from disabled web users, Net Progress has decided to lend even greater support to RNIB’s Campaign for Good Web Design.
Paul Crichton of Net Progress wrote to his Member of Parliament, Liberal Democrat Tom Brake MP, to seek his support for the Campaign. Tom Brake’s response was to table a parliamentary Early Day Motion (EDM) to canvass support for web accessibility across Parliament.
An Early Day Motion (EDM) is a petition that MPs can sign. EDMs allow MPs to put on record their opinion on a subject and canvass support for it from fellow MPs.
A complete database of EDMs is available on the web at http://edm.ais.co.uk. There you can read the current list of EDMs and find out which MPs have signed them.
Every EDM has a unique title and number. The EDM on web accessibility tabled by Tom brake MP is entitled ‘net-guide RNIB Accreditation’. It is EDM number 461.
The last point in the EDM is the crucial one:“That this House… calls on web designers to take on the board the practical advice offered by RNIB for producing websites which meet the information needs of the blind and partially sighted, a requirement enshrined in Section 21 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1999.”
For this to become a reality the Government must be encouraged to back initiatives that alert businesses, large and small, to the vital importance of accessible web design.
For the EDM to have maximum effect it needs support from as many MPs as possible, and this is where you come in.
RNIB and Net Progress are asking you to send a letter to your MP asking him or her to lend their support by signing the EDM and by writing to the appropriate Department of Trade and Industry Minister.
See the complete request from Julie Howell over at the Accessify Forum.