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Re: Legal Precedent

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@access.digex.net>
Date: Mon, 26 Oct 1998 08:24:03 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <199810261324.IAA11732@access1.digex.net>
To: eric@inlet.com (Eric Engelmann)
Cc: w3c-wai-eo@w3.org
to follow up on what Eric Engelmann said:

> Has there been any legal precedents set for forcing companies
> to have accessible sites, similar to ADA laws?

The best reference I can offer you on this is

   Linkname: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org from July to September 1998: Re: The
          Difficulty of Talking About Accessibility for the *
        URL:
    http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-ig/1998JulSep/0515.html
          
   Linkname: http://www.rit.edu/~easi/law/weblaw1.htm
        URL: http://www.rit.edu/~easi/law/weblaw1.htm

> I'd guess that there hasn't, due to the apparent dearth of
> accessible sites.  I'm working on a public university website,
> and am wondering if there's any legal arguments I can throw
> into the ring to help convince them of the need for a highly
> accessible site.

Yes, there is the potential for legal troubles for public 
institutions.  The success story in San Jose started with
an ADA complaint.

But there are more reasons for a public university to want this
than fear of lawsuits.

How does the university view the mission of its web presence?

Does the university have any aspirations to market distance
learning services?

People with disabilities are a prime market for distance learning.
<slogan>Taking knowledge to where it's needed.</slogan>

Correcting accessibility defects, if you think as you do it,
leaves a clearer and more communicative website when you are
done.  <slogan>We want to be part of your quality program.</slogan>

People in grantmaking government organizations are going to be
getting much more aware of access-to-information issues in the
near future.  Will your university look good online to them?
What you do with the website now will affect your cyperspace
image for months and years to come.  These things are growing
so fast there is not always time to go back and tear things out.
<slogan>You'd be surprised who knows and cares.</slogan>

Those are just a few.

Al
Received on Monday, 26 October 1998 08:24:07 UTC

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