The DDA or more commonly the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 focuses on ending discrimination for people who are disabled. It gives disabled people right in employment, access to goods, facilities, services and buying or renting land or property. The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 ensures that websites are available to the registered blind and people with disabilities. The Act makes it unlawful for a web designer or owner to discriminate against a disabled person by not providing a service which gives makes accessible to the public. From 1999, a service provider has to take adequate steps to change a practice which makes it difficult for disabled people to use the services offered online to the general public. For people who are registered blind or have visual impairments, the range of auxiliary aids or services which are reasonable to provide should be provided where necessary and this is the same with people who have hearing disabilities.
Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, you are required by law to make reasonable adjustments to a website that is available to the general public. It is fairly straightforward to be able to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, but it is recommended to comply with the provisions when creating the website for the first time rather than amending it later on, when there could already be a problem that has arisen.
The best way to establish compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 is to include a description of every picture or graphic design on the website; use links that are no nonsense rather than the usual ‘click here’ links for example; organise the website pages carefully, using headings, lists, paragraphs which make up consistent structures to the site; cascading style pay layouts and formatting are the best procedures to use when designing a website as it separates the page content and layout, which means that the disabled person who is looking at the website can chose how much they would like to see on the site. There should be no frames on the website, as they do not help visually; and tables should not be used to lay out the pages on the website as it is harder to access for disabled people.
For a web designer it is highly important that they are aware of the impact of not complying with the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. The client would sue the designer; therefore it is important to tell the client that the site does not comply to the 1995 Act at the moment to then cover the designer from any problems that may arise and then they can chose how to make it accessible for the general public as a whole including those registered with a disability.

By Laura

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