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BSI in breach of own disabled advice

Standard setter, set thyself

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The British Standards Institute (BSI), which last week joined the campaign for a worldwide web that is accessible to disabled people, has itself got an inaccessible website.

The Disability Rights Commission teamed up with the BSI to produce a definitive standard (PAS 78), which was launched last week.

The aim of the new standard, called a Guide to Good Practice in Commissioning Accessible Websites, is to reverse the trend that around 80 per cent of websites are still inaccessible, despite years of campaigning and the introduction of laws to punish ignorant website owners.

Now the BSI is having to pay someone to get its own website up to scratch.

A disabled campaigner, who asked to remain anonymous because he helped produce the BSI guidelines, said: "Many organisations who campaign for disabled people have [website] issues."

"It's an ongoing process...they are all on a journey. Compare it with Disney and Times Online and the difference is very stark," he said.

The BSI is overhauling its website's 15,000 pages, which are spread across 15 microsites in 18 languages. It appointed the contractor in December, and will sign the contract this month.

The website is due to be completed in October, almost a year after PAS 78 was supposed to be launched and over two years since it started work on the new standard.

The source helped The Register assess the BSI's site and noted that it was not possible to resize the text, so if you were had poor eyesight you would have trouble using it. There are other options to make the text more visible, but this often leaves the some of the text distorted or clipped, as it did in BSI's case. ®

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