Major Rant

An inaccessible Website is a violation of my human rights and has been
so designated by the United Nations. For its first sixty years that
organization emphasized nation-states' rights but largely ignored
human rights. Now the items quoted below emphasize how our goals are
affected by the current U.N. Convention directly concerned with People
With Disabilities.

If structures and other artifices of some society restrict the ability
of everyone to use them effectively, they are in violation of human
rights. The Web is such a huge part of our everyday life that access
to it must be guaranteed or the privilege of using it, especially for
advertising and other propaganda, must be revoked. Accessibility is
Right not Privilege. Prohibiting inaccessible practices on the Web is
the same as prohibiting "objectionable materials" which is already
done routinely.

"A human rights convention is a piece of international law which sets
out the duty of countries to protect human rights. Once in force, it
is legally binding for any country that has ratified it." [it went
"into force" in 2008 since which more states, e.g. U.S.A. have signed

"Persons with disabilities are not viewed as "objects" of charity,
medical treatment and social protection; rather as "subjects" with
rights, who are capable of claiming those rights and making decisions
for their lives based on their free and informed consent as well as
being active members of society."

"Article 1 of the Convention states:
‘Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical,
mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with
various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in
society on an equal basis with others’."

"Respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy including the
freedom to make one’s own choices, and independence of persons
Full and effective participation and inclusion in society
Respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as
part of human diversity and humanity
Equality of opportunity
Equality between men and women
Respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities and
respect for the right of children with disabilities to preserve their

The latter is from "General Principles (Article 3)" and the inclusion
of "full and effective participation and inclusion in society" and
"Accessibility" makes it pretty clear that International Law is on our

"Full and effective participation and inclusion in society is
recognized in the Convention as:
A general principle (article 3)
A general obligation (article 4)
A right (articles 29 and 30)"

"Access must be ensured to:
Justice (article 13)
Living independently and being included in the community        (article 19)
Information and communication services (article 21)
Education (article 24)
Health (article 25)
Habilitation and rehabilitation (article 26)
Work and employment (article 27) - human resource policies and practices
Adequate standard of living and social protection (article 28)
Participation in political and social life (article 29)
Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport (article 30)"

All of these principles are related to functions served by the Web and
what remains for us to do is take an action item to educate and
outreach in ways (besides our documents) that help us meet the goals
we started out to do with our first charter.

Restricting the Human Rights of any human restricts my/our/everyone's
human rights.



Received on Thursday, 3 December 2009 12:04:57 UTC