Websites fail to help people with disabilities: UN

6th December 2006, Comments 0 comments

6 December 2006, New York (dpa) - Only three of the world's 100 leading websites have met international standards for assisting people with disabilities in accessing their sites, the British accessibility firm Nomensa said in a study released Tuesday to mark the UN day for disabled persons. The three websites are those of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Spanish government and British Prime Minister Tony Blair. "This survey shows that we're not close to reaching the internet's full potential for use by

6 December 2006

New York (dpa) - Only three of the world's 100 leading websites have met international standards for assisting people with disabilities in accessing their sites, the British accessibility firm Nomensa said in a study released Tuesday to mark the UN day for disabled persons.

The three websites are those of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Spanish government and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

"This survey shows that we're not close to reaching the internet's full potential for use by persons with disabilities," said Thomas Schindlmayr, a specialist at the Department of Economic and Social Affairs at UN headquarters in New York.

"Webmasters around the world - including the UN itself - should be aware that they are losing a significant portion of their intended audience by not being fully accessible to all people," he said.

The Nomensa study released at UN headquarters said it surveyed 100 websites in 20 countries that provide information on travel, finance, media, government and retail shopping. The three websites from Germany, Spain and Britain met basic standards for accessibility by the disabled.

Countries where sites did not meet the international standards include the United States, Canada, China, France, India, Russia, Argentina and Australia. The study said websites in those countries did not permit people who are blind, have low vision or who cannot use a mouse to access the sites.

The Nomensa study said accessible websites do not require great expense and websites that failed the standards could easily correct lapses.

Standards call for disabled users to easily adjust text size, navigate through a website and differentiate between colours, among other requirements.

DPA

Subject: German news

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