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RE: Legal status of WCAG -and back to Who needs what ...

From: John Foliot - WATS.ca <foliot@wats.ca>
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 08:38:30 -0400
To: "'Harry Loots'" <harry@ikhaya.com>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <007201c48c32$c3a413a0$6601a8c0@bosshog>

Harry Loots wrote:

>> As a matter of interest, i would be surprised if Australia (and
>> Canada) did not use the same law as the UK; seeing as both are
>> members of the Commonwealth - it's called the Disability
>> Discrimination Act of 1995 (DDA).

While Canada follows British parliamentary and legal traditions, my
country repatriated the constitution in 1982.  The CONSTITUTION ACT,

"15. (1) Every individual is equal before the and under the law and has
the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without
discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race,
national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age, or mental or
physical disability."

It is generally conceded that this is the relevant law in this area; the
Canadian Government is the only institution I know who have formally
mandated their web content to be accessible to all Canadians (citing the
above), through their Common Look and Feel Standards
(http://www.cio-dpi.gc.ca/clf-nsi/index_e.asp).  The scope of affected
web sites is limited to Federal departments, agencies and related
organizations (Schedules 1, 1.1 and 2 at

The province of Ontario also has the "Ontarians with Disabilities Act"
(O.D.A.), which indirectly touches on the area of web accessibility:
	* The ODA requires that government publications be made
available, upon request, in alternate format, unless it is not
technically feasible to do so.
	* The ODA defines "publications" as documents in print or
electronic form provided to the public, but excludes
scientific/technical material or items not intended for public

To my knowledge, there has yet to be a Canadian challenge on "web
accessibility" in the courts.

John Foliot  foliot@wats.ca
Web Accessibility Specialist / Co-founder of WATS.ca
Web Accessibility Testing and Services
http://www.wats.ca   1.866.932.4878 (North America) 
Received on Friday, 27 August 2004 12:38:41 UTC

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