Web accessibility BLINK tag legislation
written by craig, 1 April 2007
Web standards and accessibility are a legal requirement throughout Europe, the UK and US. Many web developers recognise the business benefits these standards can bring and accessible sites are slowly beginning to emerge.
Ironic accessibility policies
Companies that adhere to the guidelines often publish an accessibility policy that details their website’s features, access keys, text resizing, etc.
Whilst this is admirable, the link to the accessibility policy is often hidden in small text at the footer of a web page. The link therefore fails the very people who need it.
European Commission legislation
The EU Commission has recognised this problem and has implemented the following legislation for accessibility policy links:
- All links will use text no smaller than 0.6cm.
- All links must be bold, bright blue (#0000ff), and underlined.
- All links must have an active/hover state that uses a 0.1cm bright red border (#ff0000) and a bright yellow background (#ffff00).
- All links will be enclosed in the HTML <BLINK> tag (which must be in uppercase).
Bring back <BLINK>
Whilst <BLINK> was a popular tag throughout the latter part of the 1990’s, modern browser manufacturers do not recognise its advantages. Implementations are inconsistent and some browsers do not support it in any way.
To highlight this issue, the EU Commission launched the “Bring Back <BLINK>” campaign on 1 April 2007. Commissioner Rapil Olof quoted:
“The <BLINK> tag is a fundamental component of modern web accessibility that is widely ignored and misused owing to poor browser support. This campaign emphasizes the importance of the new legislation and heralds a new dawn in usable web technology.
Browser manufactures have until 1 April 2008 to implement <BLINK> compliance. Any software not adhering to EU rules after this date will be banned from all member states.”
Advice for web developers
To ensure your site complies with the new legislation, the EU has issued the following technical guidelines:
- Use browser-sniffing techniques to discover whether <BLINK> is supported.
Show your support for the “Bring Back <BLINK>” campaign by adding the following code to all your web pages:
<BLINK>Bring Back <BLINK></BLINK>