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RE: Legal requirements RE: statistics

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2002 06:43:53 -0500 (EST)
To: Denise Wood <Denise_Wood@operamail.com>
cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0201130630250.1947-100000@tux.w3.org>
I wouold like to dispute a point in this email. It was suggested that the
Olympics case had no impact, as shown by the inaccessible site prodced for
the Salt Lake Winter Games. However, I would like to contrast this with the
sitre produced for the Australian Tennis Open (which was going to be subject
to the same courts, and was produced by the same company for a different
commissioning organisation). That site was, in my opinion, a highpoint in the
development of accessible sites, providing real time access in different
forms to results in progress.

Also, I am participating in this discussion, and I do not think that
legislation is the primary reason why a site should be accessible - it is
there because there are other good reasons, and it is a good way to get
people's attention, in my opinion. (In genera I don't think that a law is a
good reason for anything - it is either a reflection  of scoiety's
understanding that there is a good reason for something, or it is just a bad
idea. But thats a whole different discussion for a different group <grin/>)



On Fri, 11 Jan 2002, Denise Wood wrote:

  Simon, I agree with your comment 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." I doubt any one contributing to this discussion would regard
  legislation as the primary reason that a web site should be accessible.

  However, as Cynthia points out, we need legislation because barriers still
  exist that prevent some people from accessing Web sites. Regrettably, many of
  the arguments used to support the case for Web accessibility (such as the
  human rights arguments, the business arguments, and the universal design
  arguments) have failed to convince companies and organizations. That is why we
  often do need to fall back on legislation to present the most compelling case
  for Web accessibility. However, even then, test cases such as the Bruce
  Lindsay Maguire v Sydney Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games case fail
  to achieve the desired change in attitude/behavior. For example, many of you
  will recall the posting by Mike Burks in October last year when he suggested
  people review the Salt Lake Olympic site which at that time also demonstrated
  accessibility problems.So the Salt Lake Web site organizing committee and
  developers had obviously not taken heed of the precedent set in relation to
  the Sydney Olympic Web site.

  >From my experience, citing legislation, and even better, referring to specific
  test cases does at least get people to listen. Convincing them to act is
  another issue. My preferred approach is to to refer to legislation within the
  context of an overall presentation on why Web sites should be accessible. Such
  a presentation presents all of the compelling arguments without ignoring the
  primary focus being that every person has a right to access information and
  participate regardless of disability, socio-economic circumstances and their
  geographical location. At the end of the day though, I believe that in many
  cases, the most compelling argument for many companies will be the legislative
  implications arising from failure to make their Web site accessible.


  Dr Denise L Wood
  Lecturer: Professional Development (online teaching and learning)
  University of South Australia
  CE Campus, North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000
  Ph:    (61 8) 8302 2172 / (61 8) 8302 4472 (Tuesdays & Thursdays)
  Fax:  (61 8) 8302 2363 / (61 8) 8302 4390
  Mob: (0413 648 260)

  Email:	Denise.Wood@unisa.edu.au
  WWW:	http://www.unisanet.unisa.edu.au/staff/homepage.asp?Name=Denise.Wood

Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI    fax: +1 617 258 5999
Location: 21 Mitchell street FOOTSCRAY Vic 3011, Australia
(or W3C INRIA, Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France)
Received on Sunday, 13 January 2002 06:43:54 UTC

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