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RE: when a suit is in the rong?

From: Cynthia Waddell <cynthia.waddell@icdri.org>
Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2003 08:38:21 -0800
To: "David Poehlman" <poehlman1@comcast.net>, "Jon Hanna" <jon@spin.ie>, "wai-ig list" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <NBECLDKOGKHEKBAEEANNEEJMCPAA.cynthia.waddell@icdri.org>

Apologies to the international list as my reply is grounded in US disability
rights-based law.

In rights-based litigation, damages are found due to the fact that a
technical standard for accessibility was violated.  The fact that the
discrimination occurred - even though the entity did not know they did not
comply - is grounds for a disability rights claim.  Traditionally, remedies
involve correcting the disability rights violation.  In other cases, the
enforcing agency seeks monetary damages depending on the grievance and
provisions of the rights-based statute.

This is why rights-based statutes like Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
tie the entity's receipt of federal funds contingent upon not discriminating
against people with disabilities.  If discrimination occurs, then the
federal funding can be immediately withdrawn.  Now that the State of
California has adopted 508 into its State Statutes, the State can withdraw
state funding for covered entities that do not comply with Section 508.
This is because the State statute requires that any entity that directly or
indirectly receives funding and does not comply with Section 508- they will
lose funding AND still have to correct the violation.  State law now
requires the entity's technology contractor to resolve all complaints on
accessibility violations.

Interesting, isn't it?

I am leaving today for Nice, France to speak at the Accessibility for All
conference, so if there are further comments about my comments, I will not
be able to respond until I return in April.

Best regards,
Cynthia Waddell

Cynthia D. Waddell, JD
Executive Director and
Law, Policy and Technology Consultant
International Center for Disability Resources
   on the Internet (ICDRI)

ICDRI Offices in San Jose, California and
Raleigh, North Carolina USA

See my new book!
Constructing Accessible Web Sites

Is your Site Accessible?
Find out now with Cynthia Says! http://www.cynthiasays.com
The Cynthia SaysTM portal is a joint Education and Outreach
project of ICDRI, The Internet Society Disability and Special
Needs Chapter, and HiSoftware.

-----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 8:18 AM
To: Jon Hanna; wai-ig list
Subject: Re: when a suit is in the rong?

There is damage though to the reputation of the entity and harm to the
entity if there is one envolved who assisted in the development of the site
and the list goes on.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jon Hanna" <jon@spin.ie>
To: "wai-ig list" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Sent: Monday, March 24, 2003 11:14 AM
Subject: RE: 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.

How could a court set damages if no damage was done?
Received on Monday, 24 March 2003 11:38:32 UTC

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