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FW: Press Release: Petition crowned of success

From: Waddell, Cynthia <cynthia.waddell@ci.sj.ca.us>
Date: Fri, 9 Jul 1999 17:45:11 -0700
Message-ID: <3EC0FC2EAE6AD1118D5100AA00DCD8830345A728@sj_exchange.ci.sj.ca.us>
To: "'W3C interest group'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, "'Multiple Recipients of List'" <uaccess-l@trace.wisc.edu>
Cynthia D. Waddell

Cynthia D. Waddell   
ADA Coordinator
City Manager Department
City of San Jose, CA USA
801 North First Street, Room 460
San Jose, CA  95110-1704
(408)971-0134 TTY
(408)277-3885 FAX

-----Original Message-----
From: Francisco Godinho [mailto:f.godinho@mail.telepac.pt] 
Sent: Friday, July 09, 1999 2:49 PM
To: acessibilidade@egroups.com; WAI Interest Group
Cc: Celia Moore; Dolphin - Neill McBride; Emmanuelle Gutiérrez y R.; IBM
- SNS - Phill Jenkins; IBM Portugal - Conceição Zagalo; James Thatcher;
Javier Romañach; Microsoft - Gary M. Moulton; Microsoft - David A.
Bolnick; Microsoft Portugal Jorge Ventura; Microsoft Portugal - Rodolfo
de Oliveira; NCAM - Geoff Freed; Sun - Earl Jonhson; Waddell, Cynthia;
CAPS - Luis Azevedo; guia.pasig@bigfoot.com; Ricardo Silva
Subject: Press Release: Petition crowned of success

Please Forward this Press Release
Francisco Godinho and Ricardo Silva
Coordinators of Petition for the Accessibility
of the Portuguese Internet
Email: guia.pasig@bigfoot.com

Press Release
Petition for the Accessibility of the Internet crowned of success

http://www.acessibilidade.net/press990709.html Lisbon, 09/07/1999 - Already
has a favorable answer the first petition carried out through the internet
to a Parliament in the Europe. The "Petition for the Accessibility of the
Internet" is Portuguese and was submitted by email to the Portuguese
Parliament, in February, after collecting 9,000 electronic signatures in

This petition, innovator in its form and its content , proposed the adoption
of a set of basic rules to be applied in the production of the information
offered on the Internet by the Government and all other public services,
with the purpose of facilitating its access to people with special needs,
specially people with disabilities and the elderly.

The Parliament, through the Commission for the Constitutional Affairs,
Rights, Freedoms and Guarantees, agreed with the intentions of the present
petition in the past 30th of June, approving by unanimity a recommendation
to the Government so that, considered the suggestions present in this
petition, and in the shortest period of time, adopts the necessary and
adequate measures to ensure the full accessibility of that information to
all citizens with special needs, specially the people with disabilities and
the elderly.

In report, this commission considers that "In a way, the proposals
formulated in this petition follow the same principles that are in the base
of the existing legislation regarding the elimination of physical barriers
to people with disabilities, specifically the law 123/97, recently approved
by the Government, which endorses the adoption of a set of technical rules
to eliminate the architectonic barriers in public buildings, collective
equipment and the public way to provide better accessibility to people with
conditioned mobility. In fact, the digital barriers which we are discussing
are only another dimension of the same accessibility problem to the public
services of people with special needs, and so it deserves an adequate

This Petition was the first official initiative of the PASIG - Portuguese
Accessibility Special Interest Group who joined other efforts that have been
developed on other levels to face the same problem, be it at the
international level, as the "Web Accessibility Initiative" promoted by the
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), or even the "National Initiative for the
Citizens with Special Needs in the Information Society" promoted by the
Government through the Mission for the Information Society.

The Government should now take the measures, so that Portugal becomes the
fourth country in the world declaring the elimination of digital barriers on
the Internet, after the United States, Australia and Canada.

For more information see:

Press Release
Parliament Report
PASIG - Portuguese Accessibility Special Interest Group


It is the first time in the world that a Parliament produce a report about
Internet accessibility.

This was the first online Petition in Europe. Signatures were collected
online from 1998/12/03 till 1999/01/31 and the Petition was sent to the
Portuguese Parliament by email, on February 17.

The Petition proposed the approval of a set of Internet Accessibility
Guidelines and the use of a Web Accessibility Symbol (NCAM's Web Access

The Acessibility Guidelines will be firstly applied to government online

During 60 days (from 1998/12/03 till 1999/01/31) we collected 8,721
individual signatures (we needed 4,000 to submit the Petition) and the
support of 149 organizations. During this period more than 800 websites were
linked to our homepage

Portugal may become the forth world country with Accessibility Guidelines
for the Internet (after the US, Canada and Australia).

An International Accessibility Board reviewed the Accessibility Guidelines
in an web newsgroup during last December. Download the International review
report(File size: 726KB - forum.doc Word 97).

The Guidelines were also discussed in a national web newsgroup.

For assistance in designing accessible Web sites, PASIG supports the W3C
Recommendation - Web Content Accessibility Guidelines .


PASIG's original name is "GUIA - Grupo Português pelas Iniciativas em

GUIA, which means "guide" in portuguese, is the acronym for "Portuguese
Group for Accessibility Initiatives" .
PASIG is a non-profit organization dedicated to promote portuguese
initiatives in the accessibility field. Its first public action was the
Petition for the Accessibility of the Portuguese Internet.
Received on Friday, 9 July 1999 20:43:04 UTC

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