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AbilityNet: UK Airlines shamed in web accessibility survey

From: Isofarro <w3evangelism@faqportal.uklinux.net>
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2003 12:22:47 +0100
Message-ID: <002901c35043$95810f40$2b30f7c2@laptop>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>


Just spotted the following article on the UK Financial Times Website,
"Airline websites 'failing disabled' "


It reports a AbilityNet survey on 9 major UK airlines' websites. Googling
http://www.abilitynet.org.uk/content/oneoffs/e-nation.htm , and it includes
a link to a Virgin Atlantic "apology" for the accessibility problems with
their site and their committment to fix them shortly.

AbilityNet is a National charity championing IT for people with
disabilities. So web accessibility is naturally within scope.

I have to admit AbilityNet is a breath of fresh air in comparison to the
RNIB. Their website is based on webstandards, and almost validates (the
error being a paragraph element closed that was never opened - just a typo).

The full FT Times Story:

Airline websites 'failing disabled'
By Alan Cane
Published: July 22 2003 5:00 | Last Updated: July 22 2003 5:00

Websites operated by the UK's leading airlines were yesterday condemned by a
charity for the disabled for failing to meet minimum accessibility

Virgin Atlantic came off worst in a test of nine sites carried out by
AbilityNet, a charity which provides computing advice and consultancy to the
disabled. The Virgin site, had "the most serious issues of accessibility of
all those tested". The website depended on film clips that people unable to
use a mouse - or who use speech output software - would not be able to
understand. Virgin yesterday apologised for its shortcomings and said it had
put in progress changes to make the site more accessible.

The most accessible sites were operated by EasyJet, British Airways, Monarch
and Air 2000, but even these did not meet AbilityNet's criteria for
satisfying a base level of accessibility. Guidelines to ensure any website
offering goods and/ or services are accessible to the disabled have been in
place since 1999 and are backed up by the Disability Discrimination Act.
Alan Cane

Received on Tuesday, 22 July 2003 07:21:03 UTC

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