RE: The Difficulty of Talking About Accessibility for the *

It is good to hear of your efforts in spreading the word about the 1996
USDOJ Policy Ruling stating that the Americans with Disabilities Act applied
to web design.  As the ADA legal compliance officer for local government, I
could not help but notice that your comment that "everyone with a government
contract need to be compliant with Title II and III of the ADA" - is not
quite correct.

Title II applies to state and local government entities.  Title III applies
to the private, commercial and business sector.  The policy ruling states
that if you are a Title III entity and engage in a program or activity of a
web site, then it must be accessible.  Likewise, if you are a Title II
entity, and you engage in a program or activity of a web site, then it must
be accessible.  

I think what you meant to say was that if you are a Title III entity and
have contracted to develop a web site for a government entity, then you must
design an accessible web site.  You could also say that under the ADA the
"effective communication" standard is the same for both the private and
government sectors and so EVERYONE must be concerned about this issue. 

Continue the good work and please do not take my comment as a criticism but
as a clarification of the legal language found in the ADA.  Further
discussion on the USDOJ Policy Ruling can be found in a brief article I
wrote for the American Bar Association in June 1998 entitled "Applying the
ADA to the Internet:  A Web Accessibility Standard"  The article was based on a law
lecture I gave at my alma mater, Santa Clara University School of Law.

Cynthia D. Waddell 

Cynthia D. Waddell
ADA Coordinator       City of San Jose, CA

801 North First Street, Room 460
San Jose, California 95110-1704
(408)971-0134 TTY
(408)277-3885 FAX

> ----------
> From: 	B.K. DeLong
> Sent: 	Tuesday, September 29, 1998 1:07 PM
> To:
> Subject: 	Re: The Difficulty of Talking About Accessibility for the *
> Very interesting sentiments, Kynn. I spent a good portion of last week
> sitting at a booth at Web '98. I coordinated, planed, and managed an event
> for Web Accessibility and the Web Standards Project. If I let myself be
> discouraged, I could easily be because we didn't have nearly as many
> people
> as I had hoped at either event.
> But, I managed to have Web Standards Project brochures at every
> non-profit's booth (ACM, WOW, AIP, WITI, CPSR, and Webgrrls) as well as a
> huge stack of W3C sheets talking about the Web Accessibility Initiative
> and
> their Page Authoring Guidelines. When I'd feel my audience slipping from
> our organization, I would jump in really quick about the other two
> efforts.
> Every time I saw someone from an educational institution, government
> organization, or military installation, I mentioned the 1996 US DOJ ruling
> about how Web sites of public libraries, colleges and universities, state,
> federal, or local government organizations AND- this one got them- almost
> everyone who has a government contract need to be compliant with Title II
> and III of the ADA, EVERYONE was interested. I ran out of information
> sheets and people requested I e-mail them the URL for the page authoring
> guidelines.
> Plus, I explained to all other Web developers that the Page Authoring
> Guidelines really go over how to make your Web site more accessible
> without
> having to completely sacrifice design...or maintain a completely seperate
> text page. When Web developers hear accessibility, they think work. If you
> think about it, it really isn't. If you're Web site is HTML 4.0
> compliant....then you're most of the way there to being Accessible.
> Also, I think we should follow the good ideas of the Web Standards
> Project.
> They are going after the "user agent" and "authoring tool" manufacturers,
> having them make it so Web sites are more accessible. If we convince the
> Web developing public that this is a good cause, (as the WSP has convinced
> them.....), then they will fully support Web accessibility.
> It's just a matter of figuring out how to push people's buttons and how to
> get them going. Don't get discouraged. If people like you who are working
> so hard for the cause lose faith....then so will everyone else. Keep up
> the
> excellent work.
> --
> B.K. DeLong                  360 Huntington Ave.
> Director                         Suite 140SC-305
> New England Chapter     Boston, MA 02115
> World Organization        (617) 247-3753
> of Webmasters

Received on Tuesday, 29 September 1998 19:32:53 UTC