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Re: Accessibility vs. consideration X: how to handle

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 2001 11:06:57 -0500 (EST)
To: Marti <marti@agassa.com>
cc: "Leonard R. Kasday" <kasday@acm.org>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0101020725230.20088-100000@tux.w3.org>
We could, but I do not think that this should determine what is or isn't in
the document. The problem is that the ADA has one (or more) way of
determining what is an unde burden, and the Disability Discrimination Act in
Australia (the local equivalent) has some completely different rules about
determining what is or isn't an undue burden. In particular, there is one set
of rules for private organisations and a different and much stricter one for
government - effectively they do not have the option to claim something is an
undue burden.

If the guidelines are written specifically to work with the ADA and provide
them with ready-made rules that take their undue burden provisions into
account then we will have made them far more difficult to use in other
countries, which the World Wide Web Consortium is not in a position to do.

Aside: The Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission in Australia is
the only body that to my knowledge has made a direct legal decision that a
Web site discriminated against a person with a disability (as opposed to
cases which are settled by mutual agreement). Its advice on how not to
discriminate is to implement the requirements of WCAG. That is not proof that
a site does not discriminate, it is a guide as to how to be as sure as
possible. Which seems to me a good way to refer to the guidelines in a
policy.

Aside 2: The US federal government wrote their own rules on accessibility,
although they based their work on what was in WCAG. By contrast, the European
Union, Australian governments collectively, some US states, and other
governments and organisations have decided that WCAG is on its own sufficient
for their needs. So we would be losing a larger audience than we would gain
if we rewrite WCAG for one particular audience.

It is clear that for each technique or checkpoint that we should track
implementation issues alongside them - we resolved to do this already, as
our current approach to working out where to set the bar for technology that
is the responsibility of the user. We are required by our charter to produce
something that is implementable, and the bar for W3C specifications is now
much higher than it was when WCAG 1.0 was released. So I am not afraid that
we will simply decide at the end of the day to ignore the question of whether
something can be impemented.

cheers

Charles McCN

On Tue, 2 Jan 2001, Marti wrote:

  It seems like what we are reaching for here is something along the lines of
  the "undue burden" clause in the ADA.  The ADA defines undue burden in terms
  of a % of cost and allows some exceptions for things like historic sites.
  Can we classify the "consideration X" issues into a few broad categories
  like:
       undue risk to intellectual property
       more than x% of the total cost of the website
       .......
  marti



-- 
Charles McCathieNevile    mailto:charles@w3.org    phone: +61 (0) 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative                      http://www.w3.org/WAI
Location: I-cubed, 110 Victoria Street, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia
until 6 January 2001 at:
W3C INRIA, 2004 Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France
Received on Tuesday, 2 January 2001 11:07:04 GMT

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