Websites failing disabled users – study

Travel websites need to provide better access for disabled users after a survey of the FTSE 250 companies found they fell short of expected standards.

Consultancy firm Front of Mind found 86% of FTSE 250 travel and leisure companies failed to meet minimum requirements under the Disability Discrimination Act.

First Choice and MyTravel, ranked 137th and 213th, respectively, out of 218 companies tested for missing links, pages and the availability of text tabs for visually impaired users.

A Disability Rights Commission spokeswoman said: “Not only are poor websites breaking the law, they bar potential customers.”

Millennium and Copthorne Hotels, Avis Europe, De Vere and EasyJet also failed to meet requirements.

The survey comes two months after Travolution put eight leading travel websites under scrutiny over similar issues, in a study conducted by the Royal National Institute for the Blind.

The RNIB’s web accessibility unit found major shortfalls in standards it is pushing all websites to adhere to, such as provision for text alternatives, keyboard access, flexibility of use for disabled customers, functionality and the basic structure of sites.

The study placed price comparison site Cheapflights the highest of those tested, securing a 60% score, with Ebookers and Eurostar in second and third place with 55%.

Thomson, Ryanair and Marriott were handed scores of 25%, 30% and 35% respectively.

Read the Travolution Road Test of travel websites

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