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FW: Electronic Signatures Act (S. 761) and Accessibility

From: Waddell, Cynthia <cynthia.waddell@ci.sj.ca.us>
Date: Thu, 6 Jul 2000 17:16:54 -0700
Message-ID: <0A005268C8DED311A23E0008C75D1EFF47666D@sj-exchange.ci.sj.ca.us>
To: "'W3C interest group'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Cc: "'Multiple Recipients of List'" <uaccess-l@trace.wisc.edu>
FYI,
Cynthia D. Waddell

---------------------------------------------------
Cynthia D. Waddell   
ADA Coordinator
City Manager Department
City of San Jose, CA USA
801 North First Street, Room 460
San Jose, CA  95110-1704
(408)277-4034
(408)971-0134 TTY
(408)277-3885 FAX
http://www.icdri.org/cynthia_waddell.htm



-----Original Message-----
From: JEANNANDI@aol.com [mailto:JEANNANDI@aol.com] 
Sent: Thursday, July 06, 2000 8:55 AM
To: Jonathan_M._Young@who.eop.gov; AALEXAND@fcc.gov; tim@neted.org;
Waddell, Cynthia; icdri@icdri.org; CDA-announce@onelist.com
Subject: Electronic Signatures Act (S. 761) and Accessibility


Copy of letter sent to San Francisco Bay Area Senators and Congressmembers 
from the San Francisco Bay Area Network on Disability.
------------------------------------
July 6, 2000

To:
    The Honorable Barbara Boxer, U. S. Senator 
    The Honorable Diane Feinstein, U. S. Senator 
    The Honorable Anna G. Eshoo, U. S. Representative 
    The Honorable Tom Campbell, U. S. Representative 
    The Honorable Tom Lantos, U. S. Representative 
    The Honorable Barbara Lee, U. S. Representative 
    The Honorable Zoe Lofgren, U. S. Representative 
    The Honorable George Miller, U. S. Representative 
    The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, U. S. Representative 
    The Honorable Fortney Pete Stark, U. S. Representative 
    The Honorable Ellen O. Tauscher, U. S. Representative 
    The Honorable Lynn C. Woolsey, U. S. Representative 

From:   San Francisco Bay Area Network on Disability (SF BAND)
Subject:    Electronic Signatures Act (S. 761) and Accessibility

Dear California Senators and Bay Area Members of Congress:

The new electronic signature bill passed both Houses of Congress and has
been 
signed into law by President Clinton.  Although the possibility of
conducting 
most business entirely online has the potential of helping persons with 
disabilities become more independent, the new Act lacks the assurances of 
accessibility that we are coming to expect of our federal government.

We would like to call to your attention significant barriers posed by the
new 
law, as written, to persons with disabilities as well as to those using 
alternate access devices or "low-end," affordable equipment.  Of particular 
concern is the possibility that individuals may sign electronic documents 
without realizing that parts of those documents could be invisible to them.

The best we can do about this at present is to caution all persons using 
screen readers and alternative access devices to avoid completing any 
electronic contracts or similar documents without additional verification as

to their content.  This, of course, negates any possible benefit the 
disability community might have gained from the new law.

The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board has just 
completed its recommendations for Federal accessibility requirements for 
Electronic and Information Technology under Section 508 of the
Rehabilitation 
Act.  President Clinton has been proposing a series of public/private 
initiatives to help close the well-publicized Digital Divide, including 
bringing Digital Opportunities to the disability community.  Recently, as 
well, the House Judiciary Committee inquired into the need to reconcile 
Digital Access with the Americans with Disabilities Act.  It is hard to 
understand your concomitant failure to include accessibility requirements or

guidelines in a new bill purporting to regulate and/or promote electronic 
document interchange.

We at the San Francisco Bay Area Network on Disability would like to request

that you entertain new proposals to amend and/or regulate the use of online 
contracts and signatures to permit the inclusion of everybody.  We ask you
to 
consult with experts on digital accessibility when legislating the rules of 
digital technology. For information on the developing international web 
accessibility standards, see the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines at 
http://www.w3.org/WAI.  For specific information on the limitations of this 
specific Electronic Signatures Act presented by Cynthia Waddell, see 
http://www.icdri.org/questions_about_electronic_signa.htm.  

Sincerely yours,

Jean Nandi, Patrick Connally, Blane Beckwith, Maggie Dee, Emily Wilcox
Members, San Francisco Bay Area Network on Disability (SF BAND)
http://members.aol.com/jeannandi/HOMEPAGE/SFband.html

cc: 
copies of this letter to:
Jonathan Young, Associate Director of Disability Outreach,
    White House Office of Public Liaison
Arlene Alexander, Disability Rights Office, 
    Federal Communications Commission 
Tim Lordan, Staff, 
    Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee 
Cynthia Waddell, ADA Coordinator, 
    City of San Jose, CA 
The International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet
The California Disability Alliance (CDA)
----
Please address correspondence to:
Jean Nandi, Chair of SF BAND
1529 Josephine St.
Berkeley, CA 94703
phone: 510-845-8236  email: jeannandi@aol.com
Received on Thursday, 6 July 2000 20:25:37 GMT

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