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Re: Legal Guidelines

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Fri, 5 May 2000 08:52:50 -0700
Message-Id: <a04310102b5389d820865@[]>
To: Kelly Ford <kford@teleport.com>, Michael W Baker <Michael.W.Baker@grc.nasa.gov>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
At 8:36 AM -0700 5/05/2000, Kelly Ford wrote:
>At 11:00 AM 5/5/00 -0400, Michael W Baker wrote:
>  >1)What are the specific legal standards for accessible design for
>>government web sights? I'm under the impression that they are not fully
>>agreed upon and this issue is still being resolved. Am I right? If so, when
>  >is a decision expected?
>In my opinion you are correct.  The proposed legal standard for
>accessibility with respect to federal web sites is found as part of the
>proposed Section 508 rules. [...]
>These proposed rules are out for public comment until May 30, 2000.  It is
>not clearly defined when the final rules will be published after this date.

It should be pointed out, however, that the issue is not completely
all "up in the air" and we do know quite a bit about what the
legal requirements for government sites will look like -- even before
they released the document which Kelly referred to above!

We knew/know the following:

      1.  _Some_ level of accessibility to government/public
          information _will_ be mandated; what's being debated is
          "to what level" not "will it happen."

      2.  The requirements _will_ be based (as in, "source material",
          not necessarily "directly copied") upon the Web Content
          Accessibility Guidelines, which were published last

Which leads to a good conclusion:

      Don't wait until the government standards are published before
      _studying_ and _implementing_ the WCAG.  You can't go very
      wrong with your own WCAG-based policy; at worst, you'll just
      have to add a few more items onto the things you are already
      doing -- and in truth, web accessibility is more about
      *a mindset* and less about *a list of checkpoints*, so if you
      start now on "thinking WAI", you'll be ahead of the game.

Hey, there's our new motto:  "Think WAI".


Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
Received on Friday, 5 May 2000 12:01:04 UTC

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