Petition Number 10 on accessibility

Written By: Peter Abrahams
Content Copyright © 2006 Bloor. All Rights Reserved.
Also posted on: Accessibility

An e-petition has gone live on the ’10 Downing Street,’ the
British Prime Minister’s website, aiming to persuade Tony Blair to
ensure government complies with basic web accessibility
requirements from when they are launched.

One of 892 e-petitions (,
it reads: “We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to
ensure that any website launched by the government complies with
accessibility standards (WCAG AA at least).”

I would urge anyone who is concerned about accessibility in the
UK to sign; the process is secure and only takes a couple of

The petitioner, web designer and member of the Guild of
Accessible Web Designers (GAWDS), Ian Fenn, published the plea
after discovering the website of the Department of Trade and
Industry (DTI) failed to meet basic accessibility standards despite
the department’s claims that it reached level AAA according to the
Web Accessibility Initiative’s Web Content Accessibility
Guidelines, following a 200,000 pound re-vamp last June.

The last attempt by Clackmannanshire Council web manager Dan
Champion and Web Standards Project’s Accessibility Task Force
member Bruce Lawson to gain information from the DTI using Freedom
of Information Law on why the lack of accessibility remained, was
refused on the grounds that it would take too long and cost too
much money to answer, Champion told E-Access Bulletin.

At the time of writing the plea had been signed by a few hundred
people, whose names can be viewed online—I believe that the
petition needs a thousand or two signatures to be credible so your
name is needed.

The open petitions initiative, which went live last month, from
non-profit e-democracy organisation MySociety, allows the British
public to start and sign any petition on a range of topics

I am indebted to E-Access Bulletin for bringing this petition to
my attention.