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RE: Accessibility as a legal requirement in the UK/Europe

From: Martin Sloan <martin.sloan@orange.net>
Date: Fri, 10 Jan 2003 00:39:41 -0000
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <003b01c2b840$cf3d1620$d146073e@Bertie>
There have been a couple of postings re the DDA and proposed EU laws on
Web Accessibility. This makes it an excellent time to pass on the URL of
my page-in-development on just that subject:

http://www.btinternet.com/martin.a.sloan/

Any resources that I have missed would be appreciated; I realise that
the WAI-AA claim might be a bit hopeful, but it was once upon a time
before I started playing around with the page - *private* replies of
gentle hints greatfully accepted!

I'm sure most people will be starting to tire of my summaries of UK law,
so for anyone interested, the above page makes an excellent starting
point. In the meantime..

On the point made re EU laws: the current situation as far as I am aware
is that there is no firm commitment beyond the eEurope Initiative which
required all Member States to have their public Websites single A
compliant by January 2001. As anyone who frequently uses government
websites in the UK will know, this has not been wholly succesful.

I would also clarify another comment re the DDA. It was not amended to
include Websites, but rather the accompanying code of practice (which is
for guidance rather than being legally binding) was revised last spring.
Amongst these revisals the example was given of an airline e-commerce
operation, which would probably be subject to the Act.

In relation to the article on www.ie.com, there are some major errors in
it. The new Code of Practice *is* currently applicable having come into
force on 27 May last year - the writer seems to have become confused by
the new obligations relating to physical adjustments which come into
force on 1 October 2004 and which the new Code takes into account in
order to prepare service providers for the new measures. The provisions
in the Act (Part III) that arguably apply to Web sites have been in
force since 1 October 1999.

Similarly, as has been discussed before on this list, despite offers to
update the W3C Policy guides are hopelessly out of date - hence why I
decided to do my own page.

As regards the Southwest Airlines case, as seasoned list readers will
know, I do not think it is relevant as regards the UK position and will
be writing an article shortly to that effect.

Cheers

Martin
(a 'shark' apparently..)
--
Martin Sloan
e: martin.sloan@orange.net


-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Julian Voelcker
Sent: 07 January 2003 13:01
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Accessibility as a legal requirement in the UK/Europe



Hi,

For some time now I have been trying to preach the accessibility route 
to clients, however the main questions that I seem to get back are (1)  
what standards should we adhere to, W3C's, Section 508 or a subset and 
(2)when is it likely to be a legal requirement.

The first question is difficult to answer until the laws are in place, 
but I generally answer that adhering to the W3C's recommendations are 
the best route for the time being.

The second question is even harder to answer - the big problem I have 
is trying to keep up to date with what is going on with the legal side 
of things.

I believe that there are proposals going through Europe relating to 
accessibility and websites and also that the UK Government is wanting 
government related sites to be fully accessible by a set date (2006?), 
However this is all based on odd snippets/rumours of info that I have 
picked up rather than hard facts or authoritative speculation.

Please could you recommend resources that I can keep an eye on to 
ensure that I am up to date with what is happening.

I thought that this list would be a good place, but it seems a little 
quiet.

Cheers,

Julian Voelcker
Cirencester, United Kingdom
Received on Thursday, 9 January 2003 19:40:10 GMT

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