Campaigns and activities
Yes- to some extent.
The Equality Act came into force in October 2010, replacing the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) in England, Scotland and Wales.
Like the DDA, the Equality Act was introduced with the intention of comprehensively tackling the discrimination which many disabled people face.
The Act is 'anticipatory', which means service providers cannot wait until a disabled person wants to use their services. They are required to think in advance (and on an ongoing basis) about what disabled people with a range of impairments (sight loss, hearing loss, mobility and cognitive impairments) might reasonably need.
The law does not refer specifically to web accessibility. However, it does have the effect of making unlawful for a website to:
The Code of Practice: Rights of Access - Goods, Facilities, Services and Premises document published by the government's Equality and Human Rights Commission to accompany the Act does refer explicitly to websites as one of the "services to the public" which should be considered covered by the Act.
The UK law is not specific on this point. There is no case law on the matter as yet, and even if there were, it could only provide broad guidance.
At RNIB, as outlined in our "Surf Right" website accessibility requirements, we recommend that websites exceed the basic level of compliance that the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) recommend in their Website Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 1.0 and aim for Double AA compliance. If you are a UK government website you should be aiming to achieve Double AA.
If yes, at what intervals?
This has not been fully tested in the courts as yet.