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Blind Web Users Go After Disability-Unfriendly Web Designers
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
July 11, 2003

LONDON, ENGLAND--The Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) is taking legal action on behalf of several individuals alleging that a number of Websites are not accessible to blind users.

Catherine Casserle, senior legal officer for RNIB, said that the Websites discriminate against people with disabilities by violating the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act.

"The DDA has been around for a while, and the provisions covering websites have been clear since 1999," Casserle explained. "There are increasing numbers of cases being taken under the Act and this will continue to be the case."

Under the DDA, organizations that provide goods, services and facilities directly to the general public cannot refuse to serve a person because of a disability. Websites are to use technology to support features such as text for images, and for enhanced screen readers and Braille input. In some cases, if people with disabilities cannot access site facilities, the owner of the site may be violating the law.

"Service providers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to their sites," Casserle explained. "But if an individual can demonstrate that something is unreasonable, then it is up to the court to decide what action to take."

Casserle did not name which Websites were being investigated.

Related resources:
RNIB: Royal National Institute of the Blind

Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)


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