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2010 Equality Act and Accessibility

1st October 2010 by Liam McGee

The new Equality Act comes into force today, the 1st October 2010. It draws together a raft of legislation previously scattered throughout a variety of other acts, including the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).

The full text of the act can be found at the snappily titled http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2010/ukpga_20100015_en_1, and a little digging has unearthed the following items of interest to website owners and website developers.

  1. The act applies to websites: SCHEDULE 25: Information society services
  2. The act defines reasonable adjustments: SCHEDULE 2: Services and public functions: reasonable adjustments
  3. The act is in part a response to the Directive on electronic commerce
  4. The duty to make adjustments includes:
    • a requirement “where a provision, criterion or practice… puts a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage in relation to a relevant matter in comparison with persons who are not disabled, to take such steps as it is reasonable to have to take to avoid the disadvantage”.
    • a requirement “where a disabled person would, but for the provision of an auxiliary aid, be put at a substantial disadvantage in relation to a relevant matter in comparison with persons who are not disabled, to take such steps as it is reasonable to have to take to provide the auxiliary aid.”
  5. Regulations may make provision as to “things which are, or which are not, to be treated as physical features”; “things which are, or which are not, to be treated as alterations of physical features”; “things which are, or which are not, to be treated as auxiliary aids” (Section 22)
  6. “A person (A) discriminates against a disabled person (B) if— A treats B unfavourably because of something arising in consequence of B’s disability, and A cannot show that the treatment is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim… (Section 19)

More when we get a moment to plough through the detail. Or, if anyone would like to have a go themselves in the meantime and comment…?

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