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RE: 508 vs. W3C

From: Judy Brewer <jbrewer@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 23:43:49 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: "Cynthia Waddell" <Cynthia.Waddell@icdri.org>, "Carlos A Velasco" <velasco@fit.fraunhofer.de>, "Steve Vosloo" <stevenvosloo@yahoo.com>
Cc: WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>


I believe that Carlos was describing the situation in Germany, not in the 
U.S., in response to Steve's question about Web accessibility policy in 
Germany; and that his response is accurate for that context.

With regard to states in the U.S., however, while many are adopting US Sec. 
508, others are adopting W3C's WCAG 1.0, which addresses a broader 
constituency. U.S. Sec. 508 includes fewer provisions, and explicitly 
excludes certain constituencies such as those with cognitive disabilities.

With regard to indirect impact across both public and private sectors, the 
biggest impact will come when organizations get serious about requiring 
ATAG-compliant software (authoring tools that comply with W3C's Authoring 
Tool Accessibility Guidelines 1.0), not just WCAG-conformant Web sites, 
since that will help drive demand for authoring tool developers to deliver 
software that supports the production of accessible Web sites. So far, one 
of the only formal statements on this issue has come from the European 
         (long URI coming, and skip past the introductory material to get 
to the provisions)

- Judy

At 06:38 PM 8/22/2002 -0700, Cynthia Waddell wrote:

>The response by Carlos was not complete and could be misinterpreted.
>Section 508 has an indirect impact on websites other than Federal agencies
>in the US.  For a complete discussion of this impact on entities doing
>business in the US, including how Section 508 informs US entities covered
>under the Americans with Disabilities Act and other disability rights laws
>on how to ensure effective communication through the accessible design of
>web sites, please see my law and policy chapters in the recently released
>book "Constructing Accessible Web Sites."  One interesting response to the
>Section 508 effort is that a number of States have adopted Section 508 in
>policy or legislation because they want their websites to be accessible to
>the widest possible constituency.
>Best regards,
>Cynthia Waddell
>-----Original Message-----
>From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
>Behalf Of Carlos A Velasco
>Sent: Thursday, August 22, 2002 6:23 AM
>To: Steve Vosloo
>Cc: 'WAI IG List'
>Subject: Re: 508 vs. W3C
>Hi Steve,
>Sorry for the delay in the reply. Unfortunately it is only applicable to
>   websites of the Federal Government, not to other websites. It is not
>even applicable to state sites.
>Steve Vosloo wrote:
> > Hi Carlos
> >
> > Can you please tell me if Germany's requirement for level-AA compliance
> > is for all govt sites, or also inclusive of public sites.
> >
> > Thanks

Judy Brewer  +1.617.258.9741      http://www.w3.org/WAI
Director, W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative
WAI Interest Group: http://www.w3.org/WAI/IG
Questions? http://www.w3.org/WAI/IG/Overview.html#Uselist or wai@w3.org
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Received on Thursday, 22 August 2002 23:48:51 UTC

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