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DDA and Web Access

From: John Nissen <jn@tommy.demon.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 06 Oct 1999 12:54:21 GMT
Message-Id: <54908@tommy.demon.co.uk>
To: icta@tommy.demon.co.uk, wai@tommy.demon.co.uk
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

The good news is that one aspect of the UK Disability Discrimination Act 
Part III came into force on October 1st 1999, with a certain amount of 

The aspect now in force:
From 1 October 1999 service providers have to make reasonable
adjustments for disabled people, such as providing extra help or
making changes to the way they provide their services.

Today I received a booklet "An introduction for small and medium-sized
businesses", which shows that the new regulations apply to smaller
businesses as well as larger business, unlike Part II of the DDA which 
concerned employment provisions.

The Act protects the rights of a wide range of people with sensory,
mental or physical disabilities.

It covers all service except education, means of transport, and 
services not available to the public, such as provided by private clubs
to their members.

It covers all kinds of service, including information.

The bad news is that they seem not to have considered web access,
though web sites offering a service to the public are clearly covered
by the act.  Our Prime Minister has urged businesses to "embrace
the Internet or die", but he has not considered the social divide this
will cause unless businesses take web accessibility as an essential 
requirement (or make alternative accessible service provision 
such as CD-ROM with a built-in reader).  Online shopping is a prime
example, where the service is extremely useful to elderly and
disabled people, but liable to be inaccessible to them.

Cheers from Chiswick,

Access the word, access the world       Tel/fax +44 181 742 3170/8715
John Nissen                             Email to jn@tommy.demon.co.uk
Cloudworld Ltd., Chiswick, London, UK   http://www.tommy.demon.co.uk
Received on Wednesday, 6 October 1999 10:44:53 UTC

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