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Re: The two models of accessibility

From: Larry G. Hull <Larry.G.Hull@nasa.gov>
Date: Thu, 3 Apr 2003 10:32:10 -0500
Message-Id: <p05100301bab200598503@[128.183.217.33]>
To: phoenixl <phoenixl@sonic.net>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

Scott,

I'm not a lawyer nor a procurement official and the following is only 
my personal opinion, but I believe that the word "comparable" as used 
here means "able to access and use the information and data", not to 
ensure access that is equal in all regards e.g., without use of 
assistive technology or at some specified rate.

Probably a bad analogy but comparable physical access to buildings 
means providing ramps and automated doors albeit these take a bit 
longer to navigate in a wheelchair compared to simply walking up some 
steps and opening the door by hand.

In other words, the intent is to remove barriers, not work miracles.

Regards,

Larry

>Hi,
>
>In the text of the bill reauthorizing 508 the section addressing accessibility
>says:
>
>     SEC. 508. ELECTRONIC AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
>
>     (a) REQUIREMENTS FOR FEDERAL DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES.--
>
>     (1) ACCESSIBILITY.--
>
>     (A) DEVELOPMENT, PROCUREMENT, MAINTENANCE, OR USE OF ELECTRONIC AND
>     INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY.--When developing, procuring, maintaining, or
>     using electronic and information technology, each Federal department
>     or agency, including the United States Postal Service, shall ensure,
>     unless an undue burden would be imposed on the department or agency,
>     that the electronic and information technology allows, regardless of
>     the type of medium of the technology--
>
>     (i) individuals with disabilities who are Federal employees to have
>     access to and use of information and data that is comparable to the
>     access to and use of the information and data by Federal employees
>     who are not individuals with disabilities; and
>
>     (ii) individuals with disabilities who are members of the public
>     seeking information or services from a Federal department or agency
>     to have access to and use of information and data that is comparable
>     to the access to and use of the information and data by such members
>     of the public who are not individuals with disabilities.
>
>the use of the word comparable would seem to indicate, at least for 508,
>that there isn't a concern about distinguishing between 'accessibility'
>and 'usable accessibility'.  If a visually impaired person is 5 times
>longer in using some information/data than a sighted person, is that
>comparable?
>
>Scott
Received on Thursday, 3 April 2003 10:32:22 GMT

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