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press release on progress of portugal petition

From: Leonard R. Kasday <kasday@acm.org>
Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1999 09:13:57 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-eo@w3.org

A press release, in English, on Progress on the Portugal Petition (which is
already mentioned on the EO Policy Page)


>>From: Francisco Godinho [mailto:f.godinho@mail.telepac.pt]=20
>>Francisco Godinho and Ricardo Silva
>>Coordinators of Petition for the Accessibility
>>of the Portuguese Internet
>>Email: guia.pasig@bigfoot.com
>>Press Release
>>Petition for the Accessibility of the Internet crowned of success
>>http://www.acessibilidade.net/press990709.html Lisbon, 09/07/1999 - Already
>>has a favorable answer the first petition carried out through the internet
>>to a Parliament in the Europe. The "Petition for the Accessibility of the
>>Internet" is Portuguese and was submitted by email to the Portuguese
>>Parliament, in February, after collecting 9,000 electronic signatures in
>>This petition, innovator in its form and its content , proposed the adoptio=
>>of a set of basic rules to be applied in the production of the information
>>offered on the Internet by the Government and all other public services,
>>with the purpose of facilitating its access to people with special needs,
>>specially people with disabilities and the elderly.
>>The Parliament, through the Commission for the Constitutional Affairs,
>>Rights, Freedoms and Guarantees, agreed with the intentions of the present
>>petition in the past 30th of June, approving by unanimity a recommendation
>>to the Government so that, considered the suggestions present in this
>>petition, and in the shortest period of time, adopts the necessary and
>>adequate measures to ensure the full accessibility of that information to
>>all citizens with special needs, specially the people with disabilities and
>>the elderly.
>>In report, this commission considers that "In a way, the proposals
>>formulated in this petition follow the same principles that are in the base
>>of the existing legislation regarding the elimination of physical barriers
>>to people with disabilities, specifically the law 123/97, recently approved
>>by the Government, which endorses the adoption of a set of technical rules
>>to eliminate the architectonic barriers in public buildings, collective
>>equipment and the public way to provide better accessibility to people with
>>conditioned mobility. In fact, the digital barriers which we are discussing
>>are only another dimension of the same accessibility problem to the public
>>services of people with special needs, and so it deserves an adequate
>>This Petition was the first official initiative of the PASIG - Portuguese
>>Accessibility Special Interest Group who joined other efforts that have bee=
>>developed on other levels to face the same problem, be it at the
>>international level, as the "Web Accessibility Initiative" promoted by the
>>World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), or even the "National Initiative for the
>>Citizens with Special Needs in the Information Society" promoted by the
>>Government through the Mission for the Information Society.
>>The Government should now take the measures, so that Portugal becomes the
>>fourth country in the world declaring the elimination of digital barriers o=
>>the Internet, after the United States, Australia and Canada.
>>For more information see:
>>Press Release
>>Parliament Report
>>PASIG - Portuguese Accessibility Special Interest Group
>>It is the first time in the world that a Parliament produce a report about
>>Internet accessibility.
>>This was the first online Petition in Europe. Signatures were collected
>>online from 1998/12/03 till 1999/01/31 and the Petition was sent to the
>>Portuguese Parliament by email, on February 17.
>>The Petition proposed the approval of a set of Internet Accessibility
>>Guidelines and the use of a Web Accessibility Symbol (NCAM's Web Access
>>The Acessibility Guidelines will be firstly applied to government online
>>During 60 days (from 1998/12/03 till 1999/01/31) we collected 8,721
>>individual signatures (we needed 4,000 to submit the Petition) and the
>>support of 149 organizations. During this period more than 800 websites wer=
>>linked to our homepage
>>Portugal may become the forth world country with Accessibility Guidelines
>>for the Internet (after the US, Canada and Australia).
>>An International Accessibility Board reviewed the Accessibility Guidelines
>>in an web newsgroup during last December. Download the International review
>>report(File size: 726KB - forum.doc Word 97).
>>The Guidelines were also discussed in a national web newsgroup.
>>For assistance in designing accessible Web sites, PASIG supports the W3C
>>Recommendation - Web Content Accessibility Guidelines .
>>About PASIG
>>PASIG's original name is "GUIA - Grupo Portugu=EAs pelas Iniciativas em
>>GUIA, which means "guide" in portuguese, is the acronym for "Portuguese
>>Group for Accessibility Initiatives" .
>>PASIG is a non-profit organization dedicated to promote portuguese
>>initiatives in the accessibility field. Its first public action was the
>>Petition for the Accessibility of the Portuguese Internet.
>>VICUG-L is the Visually Impaired Computer User Group List.
>>To join or leave the list, send a message to
>>listserv@maelstrom.stjohns.edu.  In the body of the message, simply type
>>"subscribe vicug-l" or "unsubscribe vicug-l" without the quotations.
>> VICUG-L is archived on the World Wide Web at
>Joanne Watson
>Information & Referral / Special Projects
>Pennsylvania's Initiative on Assistive Technology
>The Institute on Disabilities, UAP
>423 Ritter Annex,
>Philadelphia, PA 19122
>Temple University 
>Ph: 1 800 204 PIAT
Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.
Universal Design Engineer, Institute on Disabilities/UAP, and
Adjunct Professor, Electrical Engineering
Temple University

Ritter Hall Annex, Room 423, Philadelphia, PA 19122
(215} 204-2247 (voice)
(800) 750-7428 (TTY)
Received on Wednesday, 14 July 1999 09:11:28 UTC

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