W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-gl@w3.org > October to December 2002

RE: Judge Rules That Inaccessible Website Violates ADA

From: john_slatin <john_slatin@forum.utexas.edu>
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2002 13:15:08 -0500
Message-ID: <6AC4E20EED49D411941400D0B77E52F0074B9B81@forum.cc.utexas.edu>
To: "'gv@trace.wisc.edu'" <gv@trace.wisc.edu>, w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
With two apparently conflicting rulings (the MARTA Web site wasn't really
central to the Atlanta case), the issue of whether the Americans with
Disabilities Act applies to the Internet will almost certainly go before the
Supreme Court sometime soon.

John Slatin, Ph.D. 
Director, Institute for Technology & Learning 
University of Texas at Austin 
1 University Station G9600 
FAC 248C 
Austin, TX 78712 
ph 512-495-4288, f 512-495-4524 
email  <mailto:jslatin@mail.utexas.edu> jslatin@mail.utexas.edu 
web http://www.ital.utexas.edu <http://www.ital.utexas.edu/>  

-----Original Message-----
From: Gregg Vanderheiden [mailto:gv@trace.wisc.edu] 
Sent: Thursday, October 24, 2002 12:59 pm
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Subject: Judge Rules That Inaccessible Website Violates ADA

contentAnother case.  This one saying ADA does cover web.


Abstract courtesy of SE DBTAC


 -- ------------------------------ 
Gregg C Vanderheiden Ph.D. 
Professor - Human Factors 
Depts of Ind. Engr. & BioMed Engr.
Director - Trace R & D Center 
University of Wisconsin-Madison 
Gv@trace.wisc.edu < <mailto:Gv@trace.wisc.edu> mailto:Gv@trace.wisc.edu>, <
<http://trace.wisc.edu/> http://trace.wisc.edu/> 
FAX 608/262-8848  
For a list of our listserves send "lists" to listproc@trace.wisc.edu <
<mailto:listproc@trace.wisc.edu> mailto:listproc@trace.wisc.edu> 



Judge Rules That Inaccessible Website Violates ADA

October 15, 2002

A federal judge ruled that the Atlanta mass transit agency violated the ADA
by constructing a website that was inaccessible for people with visual
disabilities. This is one of the first cases to decide that the ADA requires
online access for people with disabilities.

This decision came as part of a court order in a class action lawsuit filed
by Atlanta-area people with disabilities against the Metropolitan Atlanta
Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA). The plaintiffs in this case complained
about numerous problems they experienced with accessibility in MARTA,
including difficulties in obtaining schedule and route information in an
accessible format. This information is available on the MARTA website, but
people with disabilities had to rely on cumbersome Braille schedules or
through MARTA's telephone service.

MARTA staff testified that the  <http://www.itsmarta.com> MARTA website
(http://www.itsmarta.com) is not yet accessible for people with visual
impairments. Since June 2002, MARTA has been working to improve the
accessibility of its Internet site, but people who use screen readers to
access the site still cannot get complete access to schedule and route

Judge Thomas W. Thrash, Jr. stated in his order that "MARTA can do a better
job of making information available in accessible formats." The judge stated
that although MARTA did provide information to people with visual
impairments over the telephone, this service was not equivalent to that
provided over the Internet to non-disabled passengers. Although MARTA is
attempting to correct accessibility issues on its Internet site, Judge
Thrash found that "MARTA must deliver on its promises". "Until these
deficiencies are corrected," the judge stated, "MARTA is violating the ADA."

The judge ordered MARTA and the plaintiffs to work together to fashion a
court order to remedy the violations of the ADA, including the accessibility
of the MARTA website, but did not order MARTA to make any specific changes
to its website. The
<http://www.gand.uscourts.gov/documents/1001cv3255TWTinj.pdf> court's order
can be found in Adobe PDF at

The following summary was prepared by the Southeast DBTAC and has not been
reviewed by any enforcement agency. The Southeast is authorized by the
National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) to
provide information, materials, and technical assistance to individuals and
entities that are covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) under
grant number H133D010207. However, you should be aware that NIDRR is not
responsible for enforcement of the ADA The information, materials, and/or
technical assistance are intended solely as informal guidance, and are
neither a determination of your legal rights or responsibilities under the
act, nor binding on any agency with enforcement responsibility under the


Received on Thursday, 24 October 2002 14:15:17 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 16 January 2018 15:33:42 UTC