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Designers to get accreditation for accessible websites

LONDON - A new accreditation scheme will soon allow web design companies to prove their compliance with anti-discrimination law in creating websites accessible to the disabled.

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The Accessibility Accreditation Scheme is being launched by the British Web Design & Marketing Association, to help companies comply with legislation that requires companies to create sites that can be used by people with disabilities.

It will show that suppliers can design to comply with the European Web Accessibility Initiative.

Patrick White, founder of British Web Design & Marketing Association, said there was low awareness of the issue of creating accessible websites, even though it is the law. Currently the obligation to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act lies with the owner and not the creator of a site, he said.

"Yet those companies seeking web designers with the right skills are discovering that there are not enough suppliers that can combine advanced technical functionality with accessibility. Moreover, the industry at large has difficulty in identifying suppliers that can," he said.

The scheme is scheduled for introduction early next year, with completed projects being measured by a combination of automated testing and human assessment.

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