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Re: Policy Monitoring?

From: Gregory J. Rosmaita <unagi69@concentric.net>
Date: Fri, 16 Jun 2000 00:19:22 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: love26@gorge.net, Judy Brewer <jbrewer@w3.org>
Cc: WAI Education & Outreach Working Group <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>
William Loughborough wrote:

When the Digital Signatures act appeared, the story said it had been  being 
worked on for a year. How did we miss this? This law will have major impact 
on the community yet none of the lists I'm on ever mentioned that it was in 
the works hence we never (to my rather imperfect knowledge) had any 
opportunity for input to the process.

How can we prevent this sort of thing from coming as a complete surprise again?

1. contact disabled groups' lobbyists, and get them to track the issues, 
once we make them aware of what the issues truly are...

AFB has something called Words From Washington (WFW) which is an alerting 
service that notifies subscribers of impending legislation, its 
implications, and what action to take -- more info at

other disability related organizations have similar alert systems, many 
with redundant means of obtaining the info (you can have WFW faxed to you, 
for example, or you can phone a telephone number to listen to the latest 
alert..  NFB and ACB, i believe, offer similar services, as do scads of 
other disability related alphabetic organizations...  all of them have 
lobbyists, and if PF flags EO in time, when legal requirements are being 
advanced as arguments for final form objects, EO could provide these 
organizations' lobbyists with background materials on the technology in 
question, so if it ever is raised in congress assembled, they will not only 
start working the phones themselves, but alert their constituents to raise 
a ruckus with their elected officials, as well...

2. utilize publications like AccessWorld to alert the masses as to the 
dangers posed by final form objects, and provide digital signaturing 
examples in the WCAG Techniques modules, wherever appropriate, in both the 
W3C technologies modules (such as when XFOs are addressed) and the section 
of the non-W3C technology module on creating gracefully transforming PDF

3. there are also professional and think-tank type organizations that track 
web-and-the-law type issues, and EO should liaison with them (not just 
monitor them), so that we can educate them as to what sorts of things 
constitute accessibility barriers, so that they, in turn, can alert us when 
issues such as the digital signature legislation are still but rumors 
'round the hill...

sorry that the language in which this post was couched was extremely 
US-centric, but the strategies are equally applicable elsewhere slash 
everywhere that disability groups have lobbyists

CONSERVATIVE, n.  A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as
distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with
others.                 -- Ambrose Bierce, _The Devil's Dictionary_
Gregory J. Rosmaita <unagi69@concentric.net>
Camera Obscura: <http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/index.html>
VICUG NYC: <http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/vicug/index.html>
Read 'Em & Speak: <http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/books/index.html>
Received on Friday, 16 June 2000 00:31:48 UTC

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