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RE: Accessibility, the law and intranets/ extranets

From: Martin Sloan <martin.sloan@orange.net>
Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2002 23:57:56 -0000
Message-ID: <01C1C0B3.CEC3C520.martin.sloan@orange.net>
To: "'Gavin Hardman'" <ghardman@zentropypartners.com>, "'w3c-wai-ig@w3.org'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Hi Gavin,

If your intended audience is employees of the Web site provider then this 
will be covered by Part II of the DDA in the UK. This requires (in layman 
terms) that employers make reasonable adjustments to the working 
environment of their employees in order to overcome any accessibility 
problems. This arguably includes company intranets following the argument 
in the Australian case of SOCOG v Maguire and its (in *my* opinion) likely 
following by the UK courts when asked to rule on the question.

The argument for reasonable adjustments etc is analgous to the requirements 
under Part III (Goods and Services), hence why I would argue that the same 
position would apply to reasonable adjustments for employment.

If the intended audience is not employees-only, then it would most likely 
be termed the provision of a service under Part III and hence it is likely 
that an inaccessible site would be deemed a breach of the Act. The only 
exclusion that I could think of would be if it was for a private club (or 
possibly some parts of an educational institution's site until September 
this year when new legislation comes into force).

The key is *who* your intended audience are. However, in 9 cases out of 10 
I would say that there is a legal argument that the site *should* be 

If the site is an extranet (and by this I interpret as a closed network run 
by the company that clients can log into) then this will be part of the 
service that is being provided to the client. Therefore it comes under the 
provision of services (Part III) and should therefore be accessible.

If you want to read more on the position in the UK try 
http://elj.warwick.ac.uk/jilt/01-2/sloan.html or 
http://www.dmag.org.uk/resources/dda.asp (a bit shorter!).

Glasgow Graduate School of Law

On Wednesday, February 27, 2002 3:19 PM, Gavin Hardman 
[SMTP:ghardman@zentropypartners.com] wrote:
> Is there any legal requirement to have accessible web pages when the 
> audience is not the public?
> Gavin Hardman
> Senior Site Developer
> Zentropy Partners Ltd
> London
> UK
Received on Thursday, 28 February 2002 19:02:46 UTC

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