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

From: Jacobs, Steve I <jacobsi@SRDPOST.DAYTONOH.ncr.com>
Date: Thu, 22 Jan 1998 08:29:22 -0500
Message-Id: <199801221330.IAA18172@www10.w3.org>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org, "'love26@gorge.net'" <love26@gorge.net>, "Kasday, Leonard" <kasday@att.com>, "Jacobs, Steve I" <jacobsi@SRDPOST.DAYTONOH.ncr.com>
Steve Jacobs writes:

In response to the following comments by HowRose[SMTP:HowRose@aol.com] of
Wednesday, January 21, 1998 4:42 PM:

"I happen to be a lawyer who practices in the ADA area, and I can say that
the; ADA was indeed drawn too narrowly to apply to websites."

HowRose - Could you please help us "non-legal beagles" understand the
implication(s)/rammification(s) of the attached ruling?

Many thanks,

Steve Jacobs

> __________________________________________________________________________
> __
> 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
Received on Thursday, 22 January 1998 08:31:24 UTC

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