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RE: Legal requirements RE: statistics

From: RUST Randal <RRust@COVANSYS.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2002 12:22:00 -0500
Message-ID: <37925254B67DD311876C009027B0FF9201D3A5DB@cbscolex01.cbsinc.com>
To: "'Charles McCathieNevile'" <charles@w3.org>, "SHARPE, Ian" <Ian.SHARPE@cambridge.sema.slb.com>
Cc: "WAI (E-mail)" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Yes, in America, companies that do business over the internet ARE required
to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act.  There is a rule in
there that requires "effective communication," and, according to the
Department of Justice, it applies to web sites.

This is separate from Section 508, but in essence it would require the same
type of conformity.

Here in America, there is little knowledge of what these statutes require.
Unless developers embrace these practices (which they should) then the only
other way people will learn about Section 508 and the WAI Guidelines is if
someone with a disability sues them.

As a consultant, I feel that it is part of my job to educate clients on this
issue.

Randal Rust
Senior Consultant
Covansys, Inc.

-----Original Message-----
From: Charles McCathieNevile [mailto:charles@w3.org]
Sent: Friday, January 11, 2002 12:14 PM
To: SHARPE, Ian
Cc: WAI (E-mail)
Subject: Legal requirements RE: statistics 


Ian,

Actually I believe that the Americans with Disabilities act would also apply
to the Web (it was the law under which an American blindness organisation
sued AOL over accessibility of their service), and to more organisations
thatn are covered by section 508.

Definitely the equivalent Australian legislation applies, as shown by the
case of Maguire v SOCOG - the "Sydney Olympics case". There are other
countries with similar legislation - the UK and Portugal are two that I know
of.

I think the big issue is, as you say, awareness - not just of the fact that
it has to be done, but also how it can be done.

The Education and Outreach group of WAI - http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO works on
promoting this information, and they have a page on policies that are known
to cover Web accessibility in various countries.

(I am not a lawyer - if you want real legal facts you need a skilled lawyer
with experience of the particular area, or a very skilled one who can learn
it)

cheers

Charles McCN

On Fri, 11 Jan 2002, SHARPE, Ian wrote:

  Simon, couldn't agree more with your sentiment but sadly am not so
confident
  that legislation will ensure sites are made accessible. As far as I'm
aware
  only 508 in the US ensure sites/software purchased by US government be
  accessible. (That's my understanding anyway, maybe I'm wrong?) Even this
  limited legislation isn't even true in the UK. It should be!! And the
rest!!

  The other big problem we have is simply awareness of accissiblity issues.
Received on Friday, 11 January 2002 12:20:35 GMT

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