RNIB Gets Tough With bmibaby Over Accessibility


The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIBP) has sued the UK airline, bimbaby, over the accessibility of its website. People using screen readers or non-mouse navigation were unable to buy plane tickets online, and were instead directed towards buying tickets by phone, at times paying fees to do so. Customers were also concerned that they were missing out on the best deals, and up to date flight information.
RNIBP approached bimbaby in 2010, after receiving several complaints about the website. RNIBP was commissioned by bimbaby to assess the website, and supplied the airline with a report of their findings in 2011. However, as changes to the website have still not been made, RNIBP decided to take legal action.

Universal Design (UD) is an approach to design that increases the potential for developing a better quality of life for a wide range of individuals. It is a design process that enables and empowers a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation (Steinfeld and Maisel, 2012). It creates products, systems, and environments to be as usable as possible by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability or situation.