June 12, 2005
An insightful piece by Mike Davies, aka Isofarro, examining the all too familiar conflict between web developers – calling for a clear adoption of web standards and modern techniques – and disability organisations – concerned with what works at this point in time, in the light of current assistive technologies.
Read Iso’s article The bullhorns and short-term thinking for his (very sensible) suggestion on a way forward.
June 3, 2005
More and more businesses and public organisations in the UK are realising that having an accessible website is a benefit, and a competitive edge. Its common sense to realise that given the option between a website that works and a website that doesn’t, the working website will be the one that has a better chance of making a sale.
With this perspective, its not all that surprising that the number of accessible website announcements is rising rapidly. Almost every week, another government agency announces a new site that is more accessible and more usable, meets both the W3C accessibility guidelines and the UK eGIF standard. League tables, from organisations like Nomensa, are creating a competitive atmosphere geared toward more accessible websites.
May 2005 was a good month for the public announcement of accessible websites. Lancaster and Stockport councils are the latest to publically acknowledge accessible websites, catching up to East Sussex’s recent ‘RNIB See It Right’ accreditation.
Travel agencies, and publishing companies are commissioning accessible websites from web design agencies - and trumpting the fact in online media circles. Even two legal firms in Scotland are wrangling over the right to call themselves the first UK law firm to have an accessible website.
Its not the threat of legal action that’s behind these positive steps. The Disability Discrimination Act of 1995 has been in force since 1999 - along with the threat of legal action. No public legal challenge has been mounted so far. The drivers behind this surge is perhaps the active encouragement of accessibility-focused organisations, particularly the DRC and the RNIB. I wouldn’t rule out the gold at the end of the rainbow - gaining access to a new £50 billion a year market.
Its a refreshing sight, and one that benefits all people using the web.