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FW: US DOJ Ruling re Accessible Web Sites

From: Waddell, Cynthia <cynthia.waddell@ci.sj.ca.us>
Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 17:18:50 -0800
To: "'W3C interest group'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-id: <3EC0FC2EAE6AD1118D5100AA00DCD8831AEF10@SJ_EXCHANGE>
As requested, I am reposting my January 6, 1998 e-mail concerning the Policy
Ruling by the US Department of Justice requiring both government and
businesses to make their web sites accessible.

Cynthia D. Waddell
ADA Coordinator

> ----------
> From: 	Waddell, Cynthia[:]
> Sent: 	Tuesday, January 6, 1998 11:05 AM
> To: 	whersh
> Subject: 	US DOJ Ruling re Accessible Web Sites
> Importance: 	High
> 
> As you requested, I am forwarding the US Department of Justice Policy
> Ruling 
> requiring both government and businesses to make their web sites
> accessible.
> 
> Cynthia D. Waddell
> ADA Coordinator
> City of San Jose
> 801 North First Street, Room 460
> San Jose, CA 95110-1704
> (408) 277-4034
> (408) 971-0134 TTY
> (408) 277-3885 FAX
> _________________________________________
> Posted in the National Disability Law Reporter, Vol. 10, Iss. 6, par. 240
> September 11, 1997  1053-1084/97
> 
> The Honorable Tom Harkin
> United States Senate
> Washington, DC 20510-1502
> 
> Digest of Inquiry
> (July 31, 1996)
> 
> To what extent does the ADA require that Internet web pages be accessible
> to people with visual disabilities?
> 
> Digest of Response
> (September 9, 1996)
> 
> ADA Accessibility Requirements Apply to Internet Web Pages
> 
> Entities 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 effect 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. Sec. 36.303; 28 C.F.R. Sec. 35.160.  Auxiliary aids include taped
> texts, Brailled materials, large print materials, and other methods of
> making visually delivered material 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 the 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 then 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, Wodtach, McDowdeny, 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.  A number of web sites provide information about
> accessibility of web pages, including information about new developments
> and guidelines for development of accessible web pages.  Examples include:
> 
> http://www.gsa.gov/coca/wwwcode.htm
> Center for Information Technology Accommodation
> General Services Administration
>         
> http://www.trace.wisc.edu/text/guidelns
> Trace Center, University of Wisconsin
> 
> http://www.webable.com/index.html
> 
> http://www.psc-cfp.gc.ca/dmd/access/welcomi.htm
> 
> 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, 19 March 1998 20:21:13 GMT

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