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RE: Accessibility is a Right

From: Ann Navarro <ann@webgeek.com>
Date: Wed, 19 Aug 1998 08:23:04 -0700
Message-Id: <199808191524.IAA21434@mail.redshift.com>
To: "Norman G. DeLisle, Jr." <ndelisle@email.msn.com>
Cc: "WAI" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
At 08:48 AM 8/19/98 -0400, Norman G. DeLisle, Jr. wrote:
>The Americans with Disabilities Act and its regulatory apparatus makes
>accessibility a right for persons with disabilities under certain
>circumstances.  In this case, the "amount" of accessibility that a given
>site has to provide partly depends on whether the site is government or
>privately sponsored.  Also, a set of definitions for web accessibility and
>other things similar was recently issued as part of the development of the

*Unless there's been some recent case law*, the pertinent ADA sections
address public accomodation and providing accessible access for information
and services *not available in another format*. That is, if I run a music
school and provide an online application, AND provide that application on
paper, or someone will read it to me over the phone or in person, etc, my
application process is accessible. ADA does not state that my *web site*
method of delivery must past an accessibility test, because I continue to
offer *alternative forms* of delivery of that information/service which
provide the same quality and end result. Yes, it would be a good thing for
me to do, but I've met the accessiblity requirement by providing
alternative delivery. Anytown, USA would run into trouble if they only
provided dog licensing on the web, and weren't accessible, because they
haven't made provisions for alternative delivery. 

A private home page, such as Kynn's personal page (I pick on Kynn because I
know him, and I don't have a personal site that's comparable), isn't a
public accomodation. That he makes his site accessible is a good idea, but
the idea that he might be sued for not doing so, or is violating someone's
"rights" by not doing so, strikes me as a bit silly (and again, this isn't
flame bait, I'm a firm accessibility supporter, and wrote on the topic in
the book mentioned in my sig). 


Author of Effective Web Design: Master the Essentials
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Received on Wednesday, 19 August 1998 11:24:38 UTC

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