by Penny Everett, VerseOne Accessibility Specialist
Some well-known companies (I don't feel it would be etiquette to name them) are stating that they will check the accessibility of websites they design against old legislation. Here's an example of wording I came across only this week:
"We'll audit against legislation specific to the countries you operate in. For example, The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995 in the UK..."
Unfortunately the DDA has now been replaced by the Equality Act 2010 (EqA) which came into force in October 2010—except in Northern Ireland. So these companies are telling the world that their services are not up-to-date!
This new Act of Parliament, however, is still undergoing changes, and organisations will need to ensure that they are fully aware of this. For example, one of the major updates which was added to the EqA in April 2011 and which affects websites is the Equality Act Statutory Code of Practice on services, public functions and associations (PDF 908KB) and can be found on the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) Equality Act section of their site.
Another addition to the EqA is aimed at the public sector and is the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED). This section of the EqA replaced the Disability Equality Duty (DED) in April 2011 and guidance for the PSED is also available on the EHRC website.
As this demonstrates, new legislation started to come into force well over a year ago and old legislation such as the DDA and the DED have now been replaced.
We, at VerseOne, pride ourselves on keeping up-to-date in every sense—not just with technology, and we are happy to pass on our knowledge of this new legislation.