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legal issues and accessibility

for

From: Paul Bohman
Date: Nov 1, 1999 4:40PM


To the "Web Accessibility in Mind" listserv:
The following is a copy of a message which was posted on the Web
Accessibility Initiative list serv, which I thought may be of interest to
the group. It shows that consumer groups are paying attention to
accessibility issues (and taking legal actions to that end). The web site in
question is not part of a higher education institution, but is a nonprofit
organization. Still, it has implications for us.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 09 Jan 2000 08:30:33 -0500
From: Charles Crawford < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
To: <EMAIL REMOVED>
Subject: News notes from the national office

NEWS NOTES FROM THE NATIONAL OFFICE
For the week ending January 7, 2000.
* ACB issues letter of demand to online shopping service.
After repeated attempts by ACB to work with the online
shopping service GreaterGood.com to bring about a fully
accessible and useable web site; ACB has concluded there can be
no progress unless the organization takes strong and clear
action. Consistent with the organizational value of working
within systems, ACB has tried to educate and assist the
GreaterGood web site in understanding the accessibility issues.
Despite these repeated attempts to move GreaterGood from a
marginally accessible web site to one that the average blind
person could use without substantial difficulties; our efforts
have been essentially ignored.
There comes a point in any negotiation where either
cooperative gains are to be made, or continuation without
fundamental change only results in the deterioration of principle
and discrediting of the effort. ACB has therefore sent a
certified letter to GreaterGood.com in which the organization
demands that the online service bring its web site into
compliance with the word wide web consortia guide lines for
accessible web sites. ACB has further advised the shopping site
that failure on their part to perform within 90 days will result
in the cancellation of any and all agreements between ACB and
GreaterGood.com, the removal of ACB from the list of charities at
GreaterGood.com, the remittance of all financial receipts to
ACB, and a complaint entered on behalf of our membership to the
United States Department of Justice for failure to comply with
the Americans with Disabilities Act.
In a related story, ACB has invited NFB to join with us in
demanding the needed changes at GreaterGood.com. While they have
declined our offer for the moment, we are hopeful that they will
continue to review their position and join with us in affirming
accessibility as a baseline expectation of web sites. More on
the GreaterGood story will be forthcoming as events unfold.

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