W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > October to December 1998

Re: Accessibility, ADA & U.S. law

From: Gregory Rice <gregrice@earthlink.net>
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 1998 17:02:20 +0000
Message-ID: <36890B17.786A@earthlink.net>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
CC: Michael Muehe <MMuehe@CI.Cambridge.MA.US>
Michael Muehe wrote:
> William:
> This is the first time I've ever heard anyone claim that
> the ADA applies to any federal government agency. Rehab Act,
> yes; ADA, no.  By the way, I have no quibble with using Title II
> of the ADA to require internet access to activities and programs
> of state and local governments.
> "Public Entity" is defined in Title II of the ADA statute as:
> As used in this title:
> (1) Public entity.--The term "public entity" means--
> (A) any State or local government;
> (B) any department, agency, special purpose
> district, or other instrumentality of a State or States or local
> government; and
> (C) the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, and
> any commuter authority (as defined in section 103(8) of
> the Rail Passenger Service Act).
> We have a perfectly servicable law (the Rehab Act) to apply to
> the federal government.  It's a waste of time to try to apply
> the ADA to the federal government.

One person's "waste" is another person's exercise of liberty. 

The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution explciitly demands equal
protection under the law for all citizens. Though Congress has managed
to maintain certain exemptions from *enforcement* of various laws,
personal and civil liability court actions are not among them - viz.
U.S. Supreme Court decision in case Clinton v. Jones. any Accessibility
agent or agency for local, state, and federal agencies should become
aware of the larger principles of law and justice.

According to the 14th Amendment, the law which most comprehensively
provides accessibility for Americans with Disabilities would be ruled
applicable in court - whether ADA or other law.

Amendment 14
"Section 1.  All persons born or naturalized inthe United States, and
subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States
and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any
law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the
Unites States; nor shall nay State deprive any person of life, liberty,
or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within
the jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Greg Rice
> > MM: "Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not apply to the
> > Federal government"
> >
> >
> >       Subject to the provisions of this title, no qualified individual
> > with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from
> > participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or
> > activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any
> > such entity.
> >
> > You aren't "splitting hairs" but you should recognize why we insist that
> > Title II of ADA quoted above is relevant and applicable.  As to case
> > law, Randy Tamez & Kelly Pierce have an action in process which has been
> > widely discussed on the WAI and WebWatch lists.
> >
> > --
> > Love.
> > http://dicomp.pair.com
> >
> >
> ==========================
> Michael Muehe
> Executive Director / ADA Coordinator
> Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities
> 51 Inman Street, second floor
> Cambridge, MA 02139  USA
> 617-349-6297 voice
> 617-492-0235 TTY
> 617-349-4766 fax
> www.ci.cambridge.ma.us/~CCPD
> "Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys which distract our
> attention from serious things." -- Henry David Thoreau
Received on Tuesday, 29 December 1998 19:58:33 UTC

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