Disability Discrimination Act -UK
It is the law according to the Disability Discrimination Act 2006 that websites must be compliant to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, which means that the website must be usable for the individuals with disabilities. References include:
The European Accessibility Act aims to improve the functioning of the internal market for accessible products and services by removing barriers created by divergent legislation. This will facilitate the work of companies and will bring benefits for disabled and older people in the EU.
Disability Discrimination Act 1992 – Australia
The Federal Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (D.D.A.) provides protection for everyone in Australia against discrimination based on disability. It encourages everyone to be involved in implementing the Act and to share in the overall benefits to the community and the economy that flow from participation by the widest range of people.
Disability discrimination happens when people with a disability are treated less fairly than people without a disability. Disability discrimination also occurs when people are treated less fairly because they are relatives, friends, care givers, co-workers or associates of a person with a disability.
United States of America
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), passed in 1990, is civil rights legislation governed by the Department of Justice. The goal of this law is to make sure that people with disabilities can have an equal opportunity to participate in programs, services, and activities. It is important to note that the ADA does not deal directly with the accessibility of the Internet. This may be due to the fact that the Internet was just emerging as a widespread tool around the same time as the passage of the ADA. There are, however, two major sections in the ADA that may apply to web accessibility. These are:
The Reauthorized Rehabilitation Act of 1998 included amendments to Section 508 of the Act. This section bars the Federal government from procuring electronic and information technology (E&IT) goods and services that are not fully accessible to those with disabilities. This would include the services of web design since the Internet was specifically mentioned.
Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001
The province of Ontario adopted the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 on December 14, 2001. Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
The Ontario government is also currently proposing a new Act that would extend the obligation to provide accessible services and facilities to the private sector Bill 118 2004.
On June 21, 2004, the Japanese Industrial Standard for Web accessibility, commonly referred to as the Web Content JIS was released. Although the Web Content JIS is not legally binding like the provisions of the Rehabilitation Act in the United States, it has attracted attention as Japan’s first public web accessibility guidelines.
New Zealand consists of a number of different standards, strategies, guidelines, and resources related to electronic information. The web accessibility policy states that all public sector web sites “must deliver services in a way that is accessible to the people it serves”. In general terms, the guidelines state that web content must be adaptable to different user circumstances and preferences, and be accessible to people with disabilities.
The Disability Rights & Protection Act 2013 of Bangladesh which follows the WCAG 2.0, urges all government, non-government and private organizations to ensure web accessibility.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities entered into force in May 2008. Its purpose is to ensure that the estimated 650 million people with disabilities worldwide can enjoy the same rights and opportunities as everyone else, and lead their lives as full citizens who can make valuable contributions to society.
The Sustainable Developmental Goals of the United Nations of which Bangladesh is also a part, includes disabilities in 5 of its 17 goals. “Persons with disabilities” or “disability” are specifically mentioned in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) is of International Standard ISO/IEC 40500. A lot of governments are adopting the guidelines and countries which follow ISO technical standards can easily adopt the guidelines by referencing to ISO/IEC 40500.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 is now International Standard and covers a wide range of recommendations for making Web content more accessible. Following these guidelines will make content accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities, including blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement, speech disabilities, photo-sensitivity and combinations of these. Following these guidelines will also often make your Web content more usable to users in general.
Mentioned below are some of the guidelines that need to be followed:
Governments around the world are encouraging both public and private sectors to ensure accessibility in their services. It is high time we made all digital products and services accessible.