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Revisiting the law on website accessibility in the light of the UK's Equality Act 2010 and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Easton, Catherine (2012) Revisiting the law on website accessibility in the light of the UK's Equality Act 2010 and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. International Journal of Law and Information Technology, 20 (1). pp. 19-47. ISSN 1464-3693

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Abstract

Use of the Internet has been proven to provide significant, wide-ranging benefits for disabled people research, however, such as a large scale global study commissioned by the United Nations, has determined a low level of accessibility. These findings have been supported by further multi-disciplinary work. While in other jurisdictions there have been definitive rulings on the need for the provision of accessible websites, a UK court has yet to lay down such a duty in relation to a website. It is accepted that there are a number of wide ranging issues interacting in this multi-faceted area, such as standardisation, industry self-regulation and the determination of an international consensus on what constitutes accessible design. However, this paper will focus upon the Equality Act 2010 and the changes it makes which could impact upon the creation of a definitive precedent. The Equality Act 2010 amended and combined pre-existing anti-discrimination provisions into one overarching piece of legislation. An analysis can be undertaken of how this legislation through its reasonable adjustment duty, public sector duty and the potential to validate regulations may be able to bring clarification in the area of website accessibility. Furthermore, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in its Article Nine specifically applies to access to the Internet. Given the international nature of website accessibility and the innovative provisions contained in the Convention, its impact on website design and inclusion could potentially be far-reaching. This article analyses the area of website design in the light of these recent legislative developments.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Law and Information Technology
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Law School
ID Code: 58968
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 08 Oct 2012 14:04
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2014 00:14
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/58968

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