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RE: ADA requirement? [was RE: Attitude Adjustment Plea]

From: Jacobs, Steve I <jacobsi@SRDPOST.DAYTONOH.ncr.com>
Date: Wed, 21 Jan 1998 16:41:34 -0500
Message-Id: <199801212145.QAA13449@www10.w3.org>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org, "'love26@gorge.net'" <love26@gorge.net>, "Kasday, Leonard" <kasday@att.com>
From Steve Jacobs....

On Wednesday, January 21, 1998 10:41 AM Kasday, Leonard
[SMTP:kasday@att.com] wrote:

> E.g. the argument that a web site is functionally one of the  "public
> accommodations" that ADA mandates to be accessible?    I've heard that,
> unfortunately, ADA was drawn too narrowly for this extension to apply. But
> I'm not a lawyer.
> 
____________________________________________________________________________
____

Posted in the Law Reporter, Vol. 10, Issue 6, 9/11/97,  1053-1084/97 

10 NLDR ? 240

The Honorable Tom Harkin
United States Senate
Washington, D.C.  20510-1502

Digest of Inquiry

To what extent does the ADA require that Internet web pages be accessible to
people with visual disabilities?

Digest of Response

ADA Accessibility Requirements Apply To Internet Web Pages.

Entities subject to title II or III of the ADA must provide effective
communication to individuals with disabilities, and covered entities that
use the Internet to provide information regarding their programs, goods or
services must be prepared to offer those communications through accessible
means.  Such entities may provide web page information in text format that
is accessible to screen reading devices that are used by people with visual
impairments, and they may also offer alternative accessible formats that are
identified in a screen-readable format on a web page.

Text of Inquiry

I have recently been contacted by one of my constituents who has a concern
over the administration's policy on making Web pages compatible for the
disabled.  I respectfully ask you to review the administration's policy on
this issue and send me a clarification so that I might be able to respond to
my constituent's questions.  It would be helpful if you could mark your
correspondence with my office to the attention of Laura Stuber.

Thank you in advance for your assistance on this matter.

Text of Response

I am responding to your letter on behalf of your constituent, {}, regarding
accessibility of "web pages" on the internet to people with visual
disabilities.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires State and local
governments and places of public accommodation to furnish appropriate
auxiliary aids and services where necessary to ensure effective
communication with individuals with disabilities, unless doing so would
result in a fundamental alteration to the program or service or in an undue
burden.  28 C.F.R. ? 36.303; 28 C.F.R. ? 35.160. Auxiliary aids include
taped texts, Brailled materials, large print materials, and other methods of
making visually delivered materials available to people with visual
impairments.

Covered entities under the ADA are required to provide effective
communication, regardless of whether they generally communicate through
print media, audio media, or computerized media such as the Internet.
Covered entities that use the Internet for communications regarding their
programs, goods, or services must be prepared to offer those communications
through accessible means as well.

Mr. [] suggests compatibility with Lynx browser as a means of assuring
accessibility of the Internet.  Lynx is, however, only one of many available
options.  Other examples include providing the web page information in text
format, rather than exclusively in graphic format.  Such text is accessible
to screen reading devices used by people with visual impairments.  Instead
of providing full accessibility through the Internet directly, covered
entities may also offer other alternate accessible formats, such as Braille,
large print, and/or audio materials, to communicate the information
contained in web pages to people with visual impairments.  The availability
of such materials should be noted in a text (i.e., screen-readable) format
on the web page, along with instructions for obtaining the materials, so
that people with disabilities using the Internet will know how to obtain the
accessible formats.

Cc: Records, Chrono, Wodatch, McDowney, Hill, FOIA
n:
udd
hille
policylt
harkin.ltr

sc. Young-parran

The Internet is an excellent source of information and, of course, people
with disabilities should have access to it as effectively as people without
disabilities.  The following web site provides information about
accessibility of web pages and guidelines for development of accessible web
pages:

http://www.trace.wisc.edu/HTMLgide/htmlfull.html
Trace Center, University of Wisconsin

These sites may be useful to you or your constituent in exploring the
accessibility options on the Internet.  In addition, the Department of
Justice has established an ADA home page to educate people about their
rights and responsibilities under the ADA and about the Department's efforts
to implement the ADA.  The address of the ADA home page is:
http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/adahomi.htm.

I hope this information is helpful to you in responding to your constituent.

Deval L. Patrick
Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division

____________________________________________________________________________
_____



> ----------
> From: 	Kasday, Leonard[SMTP:kasday@att.com]
> Sent: 	Wednesday, January 21, 1998 10:41 AM
> To: 	w3c-wai-ig@w3.org; 'love26@gorge.net'
> Subject: 	ADA requirement? [was RE: Attitude Adjustment Plea]
> 
> I  absolutely agree with Love's comment that accessibility is a moral
> and ethical obligation.
> 
> Does anyone have information on the legal status?
> 
> E.g. the argument that a web site is functionally one of the  "public
> accommodations" that ADA mandates to be accessible?    I've heard that,
> unfortunately, ADA was drawn too narrowly for this extension to apply.
> But I'm not a lawyer.
> 
> Len
> 
> 
> 
> > All opinions expressed here are my own, not necessarily those of my
> > employer.
> > =============================================================
> > kasday@att.com         phone 732 949 2693
> > 
> > Leonard R. Kasday
> > Room 1J-316A
> > AT&T Laboratories
> > 101 Crawfords Corner Rd.
> > Holmdel NJ 07733
> > 
> 
Received on Wednesday, 21 January 1998 16:46:04 GMT

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