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RE: when a suit is in the rong?

From: Michael Burks <mburks952@worldnet.att.net>
Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2003 10:13:06 -0500
To: "'David Poehlman'" <poehlman1@comcast.net>, "'wai-ig list'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <001801c2f217$dfbc1490$2702a8c0@ICDRI>


You are so RIGHT!  You can also go to http://www.cynthiasays.com which
is the same site.

Take care and thank you again for saying what we all need to keep in


Mike Burks

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of David Poehlman
Sent: Monday, March 24, 2003 9:42 AM
To: wai-ig list
Subject: when a suit is in the rong?

In today's letigeous society, it is sad that it is possible even though
all that can be done has been done that an entity can still be sued for
lack of accessibility or in any case, compliance with someone's idea of
accessibility even though the site is accessible.

I would hope that compliat companies and entities out there who are
producing and maintaining web sites are keenly aware that they need not
be coerced into meeting someone's idea of accessibility if their site
reflects the best of all possible worlds in this regard.

I mention this because There is a growing sense that a tool alone is the
measure of accessibility and defense of that tool by its producers or
proponents is growing and because it is education that is important to
the process and not the tool we use.  I know of two instances where the
tool is the rule and the tool fails to measure up.  The tool can also be
an entity using or producing or backing a tool.

Being sued in the United states is not pleasant, but even more
unpleasant is being sued even though you have followed someone's
guidance in providing a site that is "accessible".  To this end, we all
need to work hard to educate the community towards accessibility which
is not defined by the use of a particular tool but that is defined by
good practices in site design and development.  The W3C WWAI Web Content
Accessibility Guidelines v1.0 though having its ambiguities and pitfalls
and being open in some cases to interpretation has stood many in good
stead in achieving the goals implicit in best practice development.  The
techniques that accompany it and the expertise that has grown up around
it has been fenoninal but can be undermined quite easily and soon if the
notion that a tool is the end is allowed to flourish and prevail.  Tools
have their place but in the rong hands as we have seen, they can also
become weapons of distruction.

If someone asks you to enter into an agreement with them concerning
making your site "accessible", make it clear that what you are buying is
at least conformance with the p1 and p2 guidelines of the WCAG.  In the
case of course of the us government, make sure that you are getting a
site that complies with section 508.  The same goes for reviews.  If
someone reviews your site and tells you that it does not meet their
specifications but they can help you meet those specifications, ask them
instead to provide you with a site review based on either 508 if you are
an us federal government entity or WCAG v1.0 p1 and p2.

If you have been told that your site meets some notion of accessibility,
find a way to have it looked at for p1 and p2 checkpoints or 508 even a
spot check will do because if it fails, you are leaving someone out.

For an easy test, go to:

David Poehlman
Reducing Technology's Disabilities
Received on Monday, 24 March 2003 10:13:12 UTC

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