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RE: Accessibility and its legal requirements

From: fstorr <fffrancis@fstorr.demon.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 7 Jan 2003 20:55:07 -0000
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000001c2b68f$16ab7870$4363989e@DHGQCD0J>

> OK, consider a hypothetical case.  Your company gets sued by 
> a disabled applicant for a senior post, on the grounds that 
> the only reason not to employ them was that your information 
> system is not sufficiently accessible for them to do the job. 
>  What is your defence?

> Of course IANAL, but I would expect to look at the questions:
>   - What is it about your system that's inaccessible?
>   - Is there a valid reason for it being inaccessible (eg content that
>     is inherently visual or auditory)?
>   - Have you made a reasonable effort in good faith to ensure it is
>     accessible?


Regarding your last point, according to the UK government's The
Disability Discrimination Act 1995: What Employers Need To Know document
(download from
http://www.drc-gb.org/drc/InformationAndLegislation/Page313.asp ) you
don't have to make any adjustments until after the employee has started:
'In other words, you do not have to make your premises accessible or
change your arrangements in anticipation of ever having a disabled
employee.'  It's the 'change of arrangements' bit that takes this away
from the realms of the physical premises. Admittedly this seems a bit
strange and my company is in the middle of going through a process of
looking at what we've got in terms of intranet content for when the day
comes (and it probably will).  My main concern would be/is that
companies see this and decide that 'they'll cross that bridge when they
come to it' as opposed to wanting to achieve accessibility from the

Again, IANAL but surely you should have at least a plan as to how you're
going to tackle this as sooner or later you will have a disabled


Received on Tuesday, 7 January 2003 15:55:31 UTC

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