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RE: Accessibility, the law and intranets/ extranets

From: Simon White <simon.white@jkd.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2002 15:53:32 -0000
Message-ID: <D1EFBFDCD178C24DA607A306D6E3A711059D57@URANUs>
To: "Gavin Hardman" <ghardman@zentropypartners.com>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Dear Gavin,
An extranet could well be accessed by the public, so in that case accessibility most definitely is something that requires thought. I would also say that for internal, browser-based applications it makes sense to carry accessibility through. This would surely be the case if it were corporate communications, or an offering that was made to the workers (such as social clubs, other work-related information that is used to help a person do their job) that could not be accessed by, say, a blind worker.

I think that on a commercial scale it is always best to advise clients of the pitfalls, even if there is no precedent set in court about it (as there is not, yet, in the UK), so as to essentially cover them should an employee find that they cannot access required information through an alternative browser, for example. And, of course, cover yourselves should the client find themselves in a compromising position!

If the work is for a government agency, or a site funded by public money, then I believe that it would be classified under the guidelines for websites that will be published in the UK in May 2002. This means that accessibility is a major priority for sites such as these.

The following article is from Warwick University and regards accessibility for students who access information through an intranet application, so this might provide some information that can then be fed to the client. http://www.warwick.ac.uk/ETS/interactions/vol5no3/McCarthy.htm

There is also the following that relates to Section 508 and intranets, which might also help in some ways: http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/guide/1194.22.htm

Although I work for an agency that is perhaps considered a "rival" of Zentropy (or maybe not *grin*), would it be possible to know in which sector the client is in, as this may well have a bearing on the answers that you receive? Or, is this just a general question?

I hope that this information has been of help to you.
Good luck with the project

Simon White

Copywriter
JKD
Westminster Business Square
1-45 Durham Street
London
SE11 5JH
www.jkd.co.uk
T: 020 7793 9399
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Received on Wednesday, 27 February 2002 10:53:35 GMT

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