Here in the UK, universities and public organisations are subject to the Disability Discrimination Act, which dictates that we must make “reasonable efforts” to allow content to be accessed by the disabled. This largely means blind people, although there are also issues for people with impaired motor skills; the RNIB, a charity for the blind, is making a point of launching test cases against applicable web services that don’t do this.
This obviously has a bearing on Elgg, which will largely be used in public institutions. Ideally, all templates will be controlled using strict XHTML and a style sheet; the internals don’t quite allow for this at present, but it’ll take a handful of tweaks to bring us up to that level. Perhaps there ought to also be a specific supplied template for increased accessibility.
I was wondering, though, what the disability legislation was in countries outside Britain and the USA. If you have any knowledge of your own country’s legislation, could you leave a comment here? I’d be very interested to hear of any special requirements, how much the law is enforced, and the number of actual students at your institutions that might be impacted. The latter is just out of interest; I want Elgg to be as accessible as possible no matter the number.