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Re: OFF TOPIC - Shame on Google

From: James Craig <jcraig@apple.com>
Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2008 15:16:32 -0700
Cc: "Accessys@smart.net" <accessys@smart.net>, wai-ig list <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, "wai-xtech@w3.org WAI-XTECH" <wai-xtech@w3.org>, webaim-forum@list.webaim.org
Message-Id: <8A0C5EB2-F9A2-4AE2-9BDF-1E25E1F9EF92@apple.com>
To: David Woolley <forums@david-woolley.me.uk>

David Woolley wrote:

> Joachim Andersson wrote:
>> In Sweden, Canada and the United States there are laws on how  
>> accessibility should be a part of development.
>
> Are they enforced?  In the UK such laws exist but are not enforced.

There is no "accessibility police" to enforce the laws, but some have  
been successfully enforced via lawsuit. The recent Target settlement  
was for a suit by the NFB regarding the enforcement of one national  
and one state law.

> Even where companies have policies, when it actually comes to  
> buying, the supplier and buyer often find ways to get round them.   
> The same goes for electromagnetic compatibility, a subject dear to  
> the heart of another minority, amateur radio operators.


Speaking of getting around accessibility policies, I like to think  
that's not out of intentional subversion, but out of pure ignorance.  
If I assume it's intentional misdirection, I get bitter and start to  
lose faith in humanity.

In my experience, most vendor sales rep and purchasers do not know  
enough or do not care enough about accessibility to made informed  
choices. For example, a purchaser may be required to purchase products  
that conform to Section 508, but often just has to take the word of  
the vendor sales rep. In previous jobs, I've been asked to verify  
whether a particular vendor's claim to Section 508 compliance was  
accurate. It never was. "Section 508" had just become a buzzword that  
vendor sales reps knew they had to say.

The best case scenarios I've seen were by purchasers that wrote it  
into the contract that if they were ever sued for the vendor product's  
inaccessibility, or if the product were ever determined to be  
inaccessible, the vendor would not be paid, or would be required to  
refund payment. Most of the time, the vendor's lawyers prevented this  
version of the contract from ever being signed.

James
Received on Thursday, 4 September 2008 22:17:14 GMT

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