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Fw: IAMEMS: UK Government Gateway Discriminatory, Media Release

From: Andrew Arch <amja@optushome.com.au>
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2001 06:58:31 +1000
Message-ID: <000701c0ec6f$f26f9da0$ca2ba4cb@lowrp1.vic.optushome.com.au>
To: "EOWG" <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>
Cc: "Larry Stillman" <larrys@vicnet.net.au>
FYI.  Andrew

----- Original Message -----
From: "Tom Worthington" <tom.worthington@tomw.net.au>
To: <iamems@isoc-au.org.au>
Sent: Sunday, June 03, 2001 3:34 PM
Subject: IAMEMS: UK Government Gateway Discriminatory, Media Release


>                 Tomw Communications Pty Ltd - Media Release
>       UK Government Gateway Discriminatory Says Visiting Web Expert
>                  http://www.tomw.net.au/media/20010601.html
>
> London, 1 June 2001: The UK Government's new web gateway is poorly
designed
> and discriminates against disabled users, according to Australian web
> expert Tom Worthington. The government's action may breech UK law banning
> organisations from offering a lower quality of service to the disabled.
>
> Mr. Worthington said:
>
> "An Australian Human Rights case I gave evidence to last year established
> that web sites are subject to anti-discrimination laws. There are
> internationally recognised guidelines on how to provide access to the web
> for the disabled and the UK Government should be implementing them."
>
> Mr. Worthington claimed it was relatively inexpensive and simple to make a
> web site accessible for the disabled:
>
> "As well as providing better access for the blind, accessible web design
> can also lower the cost of maintaining a web site and make it easier to
use
> wireless web devices."
>
> The UK Government Gateway was recently established as a centralised
> registration service intended for e-Government services in the UK.
> Registering with the Government Gateway is intended to enable citizens to
> sign up for any of the UK Government's services that are available over
the
> Internet. But concerns have been raised as to how well designed and
> generally accessible the service is.
>
> Mr. Worthington made his remarks on Friday 1 June in London in a seminar
> organised by the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB). Julie
> Howell, RNIB officer responsible for a national campaign to encourage the
> creation of web sites and on-line services that include people with
> disabilities also spoke at the seminar:
>
> "RNIB conducted a survey of e-commerce providers and found that many were
> not to an acceptable standard. It is disappointing to see the UK
Government
> is not making the minor investment needed to make its web sites more
> accessible."
>
> Tom Worthington is a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Computer Science
> at the Australian National University and an independent e-business
> consultant. In 1999 he was elected a Fellow of the Australian Computer
> Society for his contribution to the development of public Internet policy.
> Mr. Worthington will be presenting a paper on web access to the Global
> Internet conference in Stockholm next week. The full text of the
> presentation is at: http://www.tomw.net.au/2001/bat2001.html
>
> Documents available on-line:
>
> * Mr. Worthington's talk, biography and photograph:
> http://www.tomw.net.au/2001/bat2001.html
> * RNIB's Campaign for Good Web Design, and Julie Howell's biography and
> photograph: http://www.rnib.org.uk/digital/welcome.htm
> * Media item on UK Government Gateway: "e-Envoy's office defends
> Windows-only portal - climb down begins?" by John Lettice, The Register,
> 31/05/2001: http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/19340.html
>
> Media Contacts:
>
> * Tom Worthington FACS, Director, Tomw Communications Pty Ltd. E-mail:
> tom.worthington@tomw.net.au Ph: +61 419 496 150 (Mr. Worthington has his
> Australian mobile phone with him in Europe)
> * Julie Howell, RNIB Campaign Officer, E-mail: Julie.Howell@rnib.org.uk
Ph:
> 07747-011707 (UK)
>
>
> Tom Worthington FACS tom.worthington@tomw.net.au Ph: 0419 496150
> Director, Tomw Communications Pty Ltd ABN: 17 088 714 309
> http://www.tomw.net.au PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617
> --------------------------------------------------------------------
> Web Access, 8 Jun Stockholm http://www.tomw.net.au/2001/bat2001.html
Received on Sunday, 3 June 2001 17:01:33 UTC

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