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RE: Legal requirements RE: statistics

From: Cynthia Waddell <Cynthia.Waddell@psinetcs.com>
Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2002 23:53:39 -0800
To: "Kynn Bartlett" <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>, "Harry Woodrow" <harrry@email.com>, "Denise Wood" <Denise_Wood@operamail.com>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Cc: <charles@w3.org>
Message-ID: <NEBBLLCCGLJENHGOLLIEOEKNELAA.Cynthia.Waddell@PSINetCS.com>
Yes, it is dangerous.  In the US it is illegal under the ADA to avoid
compliance by contracting with third parties.  Even if the third party
thought it was a "decent" contract, the third party may not be protected
from liability.

Maybe I need to finish those legal chapters I am writing for a book on
accessible web design?

Cynthia Waddell

---------------------------------------
Cynthia D. Waddell, JD
Ciber
Principal Consultant
Subject Matter Expert
Accessibility Center of Excellence
(800)547-5602 or Fax (800)228-8204

ACE Offices are located at San Jose, CA, Sacramento, CA and Raleigh, NC USA

San Jose Office:
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http://www.icdri.org/cynthia_waddell.htm


-----Original Message-----
From: Kynn Bartlett [mailto:kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com]
Sent: Sunday, January 13, 2002 8:47 PM
To: Harry Woodrow; Denise Wood; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Cc: charles@w3.org
Subject: RE: Legal requirements RE: statistics


At 11:37 AM +0800 1/14/02, Harry Woodrow wrote:
>  >From this opinion it would appear that the fact that you were only hired
to
>do something would not be a defence to a clame for damages, with consequent
>financial loss and damage to reputation.

It's dangerous for non-lawyers (I'm not one, I can't speak for you)
to speak in generalities about legal matters in an international
forum, but I really think that if you've got a decent contract, the
contractor would be reasonably insulated from lawsuits arising
from following out the explicit contractual requests of the client.

I'd say that unless negligence was shown, the contractor should not
be held responsible for a client decision to not be concerned with
accessibility.

Quoting from
>http://elj.warwick.ac.uk/jilt/01-2/sloan.html
>in section 5.2
>It is submitted that there is a definite correlation between the services
of
>a builder and that of a Web site designer - especially in the light of the
>potential legal requirements of the DDA.  Therefore it is argued there is
an
>implied contractual duty upon Web designers to carry out their work in a
>competent manner using 'the skill and care of a competent workman.'
Further,
>the obligation to follow recognised standards and practices' would surely
>include a requirement to design the Web site with WAI Guidelines
>compliance.....

It's pure fantasy (although an appealing one, but false nevertheless)
to consider that in any way the WCAG document represents a 'recognized
standard' for professional web design and any deviation is some sort
of violation of professional ethics or gross negligence.  While it
might be appealing for some activists or lawyers to claim this, it's
just not supportable to put WCAG on the same level as standards for
physical buildings.  In fact, it's a downright preposterous claim.

--Kynn

--
Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>                 http://kynn.com
Chief Technologist, Idyll Mountain            http://idyllmtn.com
Web Accessibility Expert-for-hire          http://kynn.com/resume
January Web Accessibility eCourse           http://kynn.com/+d201
Forthcoming: Teach Yourself CSS in 24 Hours
Received on Monday, 14 January 2002 02:53:37 GMT

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