The Disability Discrimination Act 1995
Part III of the DDA places legal obligations on service providers to ensure that disabled people have equal access to products and services. For example, Section 19(1)(c) of the Act makes it unlawful for a service provider to discriminate against a disabled person “in the standard of service which it provides to the disabled person or the manner in which it provides it”.
Although no web sites in the UK have so far been pursued under the Act, there is no question that the DDA applies to web sites. The Disability Rights Commission’s Code of Practice provides an example of a web-based flight reservation and booking service and clearly states that services offered via the web qualify as “services” as defined under the Act. As well as the risk of costly litigation, sites that are not accessible run the risk of potential loss of business by being “named and shamed” by pressure groups.