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RE: Legal requirements RE: statistics

From: Cynthia Waddell <Cynthia.Waddell@psinetcs.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2002 11:42:04 -0800
To: "Simon White" <simon.white@jkd.co.uk>, "David Poehlman" <poehlman1@home.com>, "Charles McCathieNevile" <charles@w3.org>, "SHARPE, Ian" <Ian.SHARPE@cambridge.sema.slb.com>
Cc: "WAI \(E-mail\)" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Mr. White makes an excellent point.  The primary reason for accessible web
design is to enable the broadest range of users to reach the content of the
website.  Laws protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities to
access this content have come about because barriers have prevented this
protected class from participating in the benefits of the Internet.  For
example, as many of you may know, access to information, whether it be via
print or the Internet, has been recognized by the United Nations as a human

Cynthia Waddell

Cynthia D. Waddell, JD
Principal Consultant
Subject Matter Expert
Accessibility Center of Excellence
(800)547-5602 or Fax (800)228-8204

ACE Offices are located at San Jose, CA, Sacramento, CA and Raleigh, NC USA

San Jose Office:
PO BOX 5456
San Jose, California USA 95150-5456

-----Original Message-----
From: Simon White [mailto:simon.white@jkd.co.uk]
Sent: Friday, January 11, 2002 9:53 AM
To: David Poehlman; Charles McCathieNevile; SHARPE, Ian
Cc: WAI (E-mail)
Subject: RE: Legal requirements RE: statistics

Yes, but they are both *accessibility* issues, so let's not lose site of
that. I wouldn't want to reiterate my previous posts on this subject, but
surely accessibility is the key here, and promoting it whether there is a
legal requirement or not should be high on the agenda.

I know for a fact that the UK government takes this issue very seriously and
will shortly be producing legislation that includes websites in a more
explicit nature. But, we shouldn't need to think of the legal aspects, we
should be thinking: who will use this service? Well, I bet as many
pounds/dollars/euros that you want that a disabled person would be
interested in pretty much any service that was available on the Web, because
they are no different to me in any aspect - i.e. they listen to music, they
surf the Web, they buy grocieries, they need medical advice, etc, etc, etc,

Am I wrong?

I just feel that it is a shame that we have the need for this kind of
legislation when we are all human beings, not something to be labelled.

Kind regards and a happy weekend to all
Simon White

-----Original Message-----
From: David Poehlman [mailto:poehlman1@home.com]
Sent: Friday, January 11, 2002 17:36
To: Charles McCathieNevile; SHARPE, Ian
Cc: WAI (E-mail)
Subject: Re: Legal requirements RE: statistics

the aol issue was not a web issue but a software issue.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Charles McCathieNevile" <charles@w3.org>
To: "SHARPE, Ian" <Ian.SHARPE@cambridge.sema.slb.com>
Cc: "WAI (E-mail)" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Sent: Friday, January 11, 2002 12:13 PM
Subject: Legal requirements RE: statistics


Actually I believe that the Americans with Disabilities act would also
to the Web (it was the law under which an American blindness
sued AOL over accessibility of their service), and to more organisations
thatn are covered by section 508.

Definitely the equivalent Australian legislation applies, as shown by
case of Maguire v SOCOG - the "Sydney Olympics case". There are other
countries with similar legislation - the UK and Portugal are two that I

I think the big issue is, as you say, awareness - not just of the fact
it has to be done, but also how it can be done.

The Education and Outreach group of WAI - http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO works
promoting this information, and they have a page on policies that are
to cover Web accessibility in various countries.

(I am not a lawyer - if you want real legal facts you need a skilled
with experience of the particular area, or a very skilled one who can


Charles McCN

On Fri, 11 Jan 2002, SHARPE, Ian wrote:

  Simon, couldn't agree more with your sentiment but sadly am not so
  that legislation will ensure sites are made accessible. As far as I'm
  only 508 in the US ensure sites/software purchased by US government be
  accessible. (That's my understanding anyway, maybe I'm wrong?) Even
  limited legislation isn't even true in the UK. It should be!! And the

  The other big problem we have is simply awareness of accissiblity

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Received on Friday, 11 January 2002 14:39:57 UTC

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