Voluntary compliance to web accessibility standards 'inadequate'

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From E-Access Bulletin Live:

Voluntary application of technical standards on accessibility of web sites to people with disabilities has proved inadequate, suggesting more formal regulation is needed, the US government has said.

In a document issued as part of a public consultation process on four new proposed regulations to extend the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to improve technology access for disabled people, the US Department of Justice said: Voluntary standards have generally proved to be sufficient where obvious business incentives align with discretionary governing standards as, for example, with respect to privacy and security standards designed to increase consumer confidence in e-commerce. There has not, however, been equal success in the area of accessibility.

Overall, it says: It is clear that the system of voluntary compliance has proved inadequate in providing website accessibility to individuals with disabilities.

As well as web accessibility – covering online goods and services – the four advance notices of proposed rulemaking cover captioning and video description in cinemas; equipment and furniture; and the widening of how emergency (911) telephone calls can be made.

Read the original article (opens new window).

A similar case can be made for the Australian situation, where the only major push for accessibility standards compliance has been in government, where it has not always met with success.

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