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RE: New York Attorney General holds ADA applies to Web Businesses.

From: Jim Thatcher <jim@jimthatcher.com>
Date: Sat, 28 Aug 2004 17:26:44 -0500
To: "'Phill Jenkins'" <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Cc: <webaim-forum-d@list.webaim.org>
Message-ID: <000e01c48d4e$1ce742e0$6801a8c0@jtcom2400>
Phill Jenkins: 

 

> but I found it interesting that Priceline.com is not headquartered in NY,
but was incorporated in > Delaware and is headquartered in Connecticut

 

Indeed it is interesting, but not surprising that a legal expert (The AG of
NYS) should decide that web business' headquarters is immaterial. The issue
for the AG was that these websites were "places of public accommodation"
just like brick and mortar buildings. The wave of the future, I believe.

 

Phill Jenkins:

> Does the State of New York or New Jersey actually specify WCAG 1.0

 

No - it is clear that the AG concluded that the sites had to be accessible
to "people with disabilities" and then he had the sense to try to define
that. He used a combination of WCAHG P1 and P2 and 508 - as he should!

 

Phill Jenkins:

> it seems that the policy under which the complaint was filed was the ADA,
but I'm confused why the > 508 Web standard wasn't chosen or cited as the
standard since it is also a Federal policy like the > ADA

 

There is no reason to appeal to 508 - it is a law talking about Federal
procurement. The AG of NY was faced with the question, what is web
accessibility, and drew on both 508 and WCAG for the answer. 

 

There is no applicability of the NY Attorney General's action - which you
seem to be looking for. I can tell you that if I were a high profile
business on the web I would start now to work to meet standards like those
referenced in the AG's document. It would be a lot cheaper than going
through the process that Ramada and Priceline have just entered/completed.

 

The Justice Department has issued an opinion that the ADA applies to web
businesses. Now the New York Attorney General has taken an action based on
that premise. There has been one Judge who has decided otherwise, a decision
that is under appeal. That is better than 2 to 1 as I count it.

 

Jim

 

Accessibility Consulting:  <http://jimthatcher.com/> http://jimthatcher.com/

512-306-0931

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On Behalf
Of Phill Jenkins
Sent: Monday, August 23, 2004 10:13 AM
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Cc: webaim-forum-d@list.webaim.org
Subject: RE: New York Attorney General holds ADA applies to Web Businesses.

 


I'm not a lawyer either, but I found it interesting that Priceline.com is
not headquartered in NY, but was incorporated in Delaware and is
headquartered in Connecticut (See note 1 SEC filings).  Also, Ramada.com has
a  "Term of Use" agreement (see note 2) that includes a section 11 on the
governing laws and jurisdiction.  [Yes, this is only the second time I
actually read the terms of use of a web site/application.]  It basically
says that you agree to be governed by the laws of the State of New Jersey.


Thatcher said: 
"If you look in detail, you will find that the agreement is pretty close to
WCAG AA ..." 

Does the State of New York or New Jersey actually specify WCAG 1.0, or was
that just used by AGO? 

So if I incorporate in a state that uses the 508 web standards, am I held to
those guidelines, or if I incorporate in a state that uses the WCAG 1.0
standards, am I held to those standards?  Can I pick which state (or
country) I choose to operate under?  Can I pick which standard (or level a
double A, or triple AAA) I choose to follow?   

There is also a priceline.co.uk, a London based travel services, and they
invest in an Asian travel service, also called Priceline.com, that operates
in Hong Kong and Singapore.  Which accessibility standard is applicable to
these two sites?  Does the U.K.'s DDA specify a particular standard - such
as WCAG 1.0 A (priority 1)? 

Forgive me for wandering into the policy discussion, but it is the policy
(laws, policies, purchasing regulations, etc) that typically points to
technical standard, or includes the technical specs as does 508 and ADA
[although ADA does NOT reference Web accessibility standards], or leaves it
totally open with statements like "must be accessible to people with
disabilities".  In this New York case, it seems that the policy under which
the complaint was filed was the ADA, but I'm confused why the 508 Web
standard wasn't chosen or cited as the standard since it is also a Federal
policy like the ADA. 

Regards,
Phill Jenkins
IBM Research - Accessibility Center 
www.ibm.com/able


Note 1 SEC filings
http://www.corporate-ir.net/ireye/ir_site.zhtml?ticker=pcln&script=1901) 

Note 2 Terms of Use http://www.ramada.com/Ramada/control/terms_of_use 


 


 


 


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Received on Saturday, 28 August 2004 22:26:58 UTC

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