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RE: FW: US DOJ Ruling re Accessible Web Sites

From: Waddell, Cynthia <cynthia.waddell@ci.sj.ca.us>
Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1998 11:32:17 -0800
To: w3c-wai-ig@W3.org, "'Brewer, Judy'" <Jbrewer@W3.org>
Message-id: <3EC0FC2EAE6AD1118D5100AA00DCD8831AEF12@SJ_EXCHANGE>
For those in the United States, I also agree that it would be helpful to
compile US civil rights laws and regulations that impact the evolution of
the internet.  Technology is rapidly redefining the way we work and play in
our world and so I believe the public policy of equal access will continue
to play a significant role.  Laws, however, can be restrictive and that is
why I support the application of Universal Design principles for web design
since they bring broad economic and social benefits beyond those just for
people with disabilities.

Some of our laws of interest include:
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Sections 501, 503, 504 & 508)
Telecommunications Act of 1996
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
State Laws & Policies

It also has been interested to follow case law developments and various
settlement agreements that are not published.  One area of particular
interest has been how the Office of Civil Rights, United States Department
of Education, has been enforcing equivalent access to the internet at our
colleges and universities statewide.  I briefly discuss this development in
my article entitled "Electronic Curbcuts:  How to Build an Accessible Web
Site" posted at http://www.prodworks.com/ilf/w5bcw.htm

As legal issues present themselves, I would be glad to post to this list.
In fact, I am preparing my lecture for a Telecommunications and Technology
Law class at Santa Clara University School of Law, and will share any
questions/insights raised by these budding attorneys.

Lastly, I received a request from someone on this list for my bio and it is
posted at Webgrrls "Top 25 Women on the Web"
http://www.webgrrls.com/sf/25women.htm  Further information of the efforts
of my office in implementing web accessibility at the City of San Jose can
be found in an article published by the Silicon Valley Business Journal at

Cynthia D. Waddell
ADA Coordinator
City of San Jose
801 North First Street, Room 460
San Jose, California  95110-1704

> ----------
> From: 	Judy Brewer
> Sent: 	Friday, March 20, 1998 12:10 AM
> To: 	w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> Subject: 	Re:  FW: US DOJ Ruling re Accessible Web Sites
> You might want to go back and check the deliverables plan in the Education
> & Outreach Working Group charter -- http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/charter --
> it's already in there.
> We find plenty of interest all around at what kind of policies are in
> place, and in development, so it seems only appropriate to compile these
> as
> a reference.
> - Judy
> At 08:33 PM 3/19/98 -0800, Scott Luebking wrote:
> >Hi,
> >I think that such a web site is important.  Part of my believe is that
> >disabled people need to be self-advocates and such a site would give
> >them some of the necessary tools.  I lean towards using the carrot and
> stick
> >approach.  I usually like to start off with a soft sell, i.e. just giving
> >them the information about what is needed.  If no response, clarifying
> >more about how the current condition is affecting my life as a fellow
> >human being.  If still no response, then I go to the stick bin.  (The web
> site
> >could be the "stick bin".)  Often, I need to only lightly hit them on
> >the shins with the stick to get them to pay attention.
> >
> >Having worked at a public university on and off, I've seen enlightenment
> work
> >only part of the time.  Many times enlightenment loses to budgetary
> bulliness
> >or bureaucratic backwardness.
> >
> >Scott
> >
> >
> >
> >>On Thu, 19 Mar 1998, Scott Luebking wrote:
> >>
> >>> Hi,
> >>> Can WAI establish a web site for legal information concerning
> >>> web accessibility?  It be great to have a one-stop shopping center.
> >>> It would need to be broken down by country.
> >>
> >>JW:: I understand that in the early stages of the WAI, a project of this
> >>kind was attempted, but that reliable information was not readily
> >>obtainable. I think there is definitely scope for such a site. However,
> >>the primary task of the WAI educational effort should be to persuade
> >>authors and software developers to adopt universal design strategies out
> >>of a sense of justice and responsibility, rather than to raise the
> threat
> >>of legal liability. It is preferable to appeal to the high ethical
> >>standards and integrity of web content providers and software developers
> >>than to base one's argument on the provisions of antidiscrimination law.
> >>Nevertheless, it may be useful to provide information concerning the
> >>relevance of anti-discrimination laws in different countries to the
> >>provision of web-based documents and services. The Human Rights and
> Equal
> >>Opportunity Commission in Australia has already done so by releasing a
> >>discussion paper, a reference to which is included in the WAI page
> author
> >>guidelines.
> >
> -------------------------------------------------------
> Judy Brewer   jbrewer@w3.org     617-258-9741
> Director, Web Accessibility Initiative International Program Office
> World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
> MIT/LCS Room NE43-355
> 545 Technology Square, Cambridge MA 02139 USA
> http://www.w3.org/WAI
Received on Friday, 20 March 1998 14:34:48 UTC

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