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RE: Legal Precedent Set for Web Accessibility

From: Chris Harpin <chris@castus.co.uk>
Date: Sat, 9 Sep 2006 09:23:30 +0100
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-Id: <20060909082349.3FA1D4E5CDD@cht-smtp-001.bulldogdsl.com>

Hi All,

Whilst it is nice to see that the matter is being taken seriously by the US
courts I am reluctant to get excited as to how much future legal activity
will arise from this initial case.

We appear to have forgot that the world president occurred in 1999-2000 when
Bruce Maguire (Australia) took the Sydney Organizing Committee for the
Olympic Games to court on the grounds that the web site for the 2000 Sydney
Olympic Games was inaccessible to him as a blind person.

The courts supported his claim and instructed that certain provisions must
be put in place by 15 September 2000 (I think they were given a month or so
to make the amendments), the committee ignored these instructions and were
subsequently fined A$20,000.

Now whilst the size of the fine is never going to dent the wallet of the
committee the amount of negative publicity they received is something every
website owner will want to avoid.

The thing that frustrates me most about all of this is that it has taken six
years for similar action to be taken to move the web forward.

This information is from a report I wrote for my 'at the time' employer.
Just tried to find further info using Google but most pages appear to have
been taken down.

10th paragraph or so on http://www.w3c.rl.ac.uk/ukofficewai.html refers to
the case, not much detail though.

Received on Saturday, 9 September 2006 08:24:02 UTC

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