(PRWEB) March 15, 2004
The Disability Discrimination Act states that service providers must not discriminate against disabled people. A website is regarded as a service and therefore falls under this law.
Some organisations are changing their websites, but many are seemingly not making the adjustments. Disabled people donÂt access their website, they say, so why should they care?
Trenton Moss, Managing Director of Webcredible (http://www.webcredible.co.uk), a web accessibility and usability consultancy, disagrees. "Companies massively underestimate the number of their site users who may have some kind of special need." He might be right. The statistics on the number of users who may face difficulties in using your website are quite startling:
- There are 8.6 million registered disabled people in the UK (14% of the population) (http://www.drc-gb.org/whatwedo/aboutus.asp)
- One in 12 men and one in 200 women have some form of colour blindness (nine percent of the UK population) (http://www.iee.org/Policy/Areas/Health/cvdintro.cfm)
- Two million UK residents have a sight problem (four percent of the population) (http://www.rnib.org.uk/xpedio/groups/public/documents/publicwebsite/public_rnib003680.hcsp#P16_1214)
- There are 12 million people aged 60 or over (21% of the UK population) (http://www.statistics.gov.uk/census2001/pyramids/pages/UK.asp). At this age most people begin to experience a decrease in vision, hearing and physical and cognitive ability.
Although there is inevitably some overlap between all of the aforementioned groups, adding up these numbers provides a total of 48% of the UK population that could potentially face problems using your website. It is an extraordinarily high number.
- Users on slow connections regularly turn images off to enable a quicker download time. Some browsers, such as the text-only Lynx browser do not display images at all.
- Not every user has downloaded the latest Flash program that is needed to display your site. Additionally, the download time on Flash websites often takes so long that users lose patience and don't even wait to see the content. Just 17% of web users in the UK are connected to the Internet via broadband (http://www.liquidzope.com/abc/2/4currentusage/currentstatebbd/view).
This article is part 3 in a series of 5 articles published by Webcredible (http://www.webcredible.co.uk). The full article list is:
1. Web accessibility and the law in the UK: Is Your Website Legal?
2. How disabled users access the Internet
3. Benefits of making your website accessible to disabled users Â part 1: increase in reach
4. Benefits of making your website accessible to disabled users Â part 2: the business case
5. Ten basic tests to check your website for accessibility
All articles are available at prweb.com