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RE: Legal requirements RE: statistics

From: Harry Woodrow <harrry@email.com>
Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2002 12:20:36 +0800
To: "Denise Wood" <Denise_Wood@operamail.com>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <LDEMKFBKJGCANBEJGEOIIEDPCCAA.harrry@email.com>
For a viewpoint on whether accessibility applies in other countries you may
be interested in
Web Accesibility and the DDA by Martin Sloan in THe Journal of Information
Law and Technology (2 July 2001) which may be found on
http://elj.warwick.ac.uk/jilt/01-2/sloan.html.

It provides a good overview of the legal situation in other countries
although I believe that some of the interpretation is based on UK Case law
which may not apply in the other countries.

Harry Woodrow

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
Behalf Of Denise Wood
Sent: Saturday, 12 January 2002 10:12 AM
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: RE: Legal requirements RE: statistics


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Cynthia Waddell [mailto:Cynthia.Waddell@psinetcs.com]
> Mr. White makes an excellent point.  The primary reason for
> accessible web
> design is to enable the broadest range of users to reach the
> content of the
> website.  Laws protecting the rights of individuals with
> disabilities to
> access this content have come about because barriers have
> prevented this
> protected class from participating in the benefits of the
> Internet.

Simon, I agree with your comment that it is "...a shame that we have the
need
for this kind of legislation when we are all human beings, not something to
be
labelled." I doubt any one contributing to this discussion would regard
legislation as the primary reason that a web site should be accessible.

However, as Cynthia points out, we need legislation because barriers still
exist that prevent some people from accessing Web sites. Regrettably, many
of
the arguments used to support the case for Web accessibility (such as the
human rights arguments, the business arguments, and the universal design
arguments) have failed to convince companies and organizations. That is why
we
often do need to fall back on legislation to present the most compelling
case
for Web accessibility. However, even then, test cases such as the Bruce
Lindsay Maguire v Sydney Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games case
fail
to achieve the desired change in attitude/behavior. For example, many of you
will recall the posting by Mike Burks in October last year when he suggested
people review the Salt Lake Olympic site which at that time also
demonstrated
accessibility problems.So the Salt Lake Web site organizing committee and
developers had obviously not taken heed of the precedent set in relation to
the Sydney Olympic Web site.

From my experience, citing legislation, and even better, referring to
specific
test cases does at least get people to listen. Convincing them to act is
another issue. My preferred approach is to to refer to legislation within
the
context of an overall presentation on why Web sites should be accessible.
Such
a presentation presents all of the compelling arguments without ignoring the
primary focus being that every person has a right to access information and
participate regardless of disability, socio-economic circumstances and their
geographical location. At the end of the day though, I believe that in many
cases, the most compelling argument for many companies will be the
legislative
implications arising from failure to make their Web site accessible.

-------------------------------------------
Denise

Dr Denise L Wood
Lecturer: Professional Development (online teaching and learning)
University of South Australia
CE Campus, North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000
Ph:    (61 8) 8302 2172 / (61 8) 8302 4472 (Tuesdays & Thursdays)
Fax:  (61 8) 8302 2363 / (61 8) 8302 4390
Mob: (0413 648 260)

Email:	Denise.Wood@unisa.edu.au
WWW:	http://www.unisanet.unisa.edu.au/staff/homepage.asp?Name=Denise.Wood
Received on Friday, 11 January 2002 23:20:33 GMT

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