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Re: Judge: Disabilities Act doesn't cover Web


From: Holly Marie
Date: Oct 21, 2002 4:15PM

On a Web Design List however.... Someone deposited another case link
which did exactly the opposite.
So here is one that did go through, and too bad it did not go through
before the other was up for a decision, then this case could have been
used to back up the other, if argued well.

post by Todd Warfel on BabbleList not half an hour ago: [this was
posted a few hours ago]


Judge Rules That Inaccessible Website Violates ADA

October 15, 2002

A federal judge ruled that the Atlanta mass transit agency violated the
by constructing a website that was inaccessible for people with visual
disabilities. This is one of the first cases to decide that the ADA
online access for people with disabilities...

so.... we have two cases, both citing ADA, with two different results.
I think what we will need is some clean up on the Act and maybe others,
in order to apply these well to cases?

I think the arguments for the one that failed, had some attorneys
stating that those rules and Act were put into force or written before
Internet technology was in place, so his argument may have been that
they cannot be applied concretely?
At least that was my recall of the pretrial news on this Southwest
Airlines case. In this situation, it would be up to the plaintiff side
to come up with counter cases or records that proved otherwise. Maybe
even ones that did not apply directly to Internet but cases in which ADA
was used successfully to sue other areas that were not specifically
outlined in the Act?

This is a real problem and most likely why law is written in such a
verbose way to include as much as possible or risk not covering other
areas. Openended changes on ADA may need to be written to include any
electronic technology that is developed and used by the general public
for means in accessing services for the same.

I wonder now, if ATM, Kiosks and other such devices are covered under
ADA specifically and if not, those are other areas that need to be

This is all very interesting and also very important and what may happen
is items are going to need to be changed.


babblelist is at http://www.babblelist.com/
ADA and discussion is at:
[and if that link does not go through, put ADA into the search box to
get to the thread]

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jared Smith" < <EMAIL REMOVED> >

| A federal judge ruled Friday that Southwest Airlines does not
| have to revamp its Web site to make it more accessible to the
| blind and dismissed the lawsuit brought by Access Now.
| Get the whole story at:
| http://news.com.com/2100-1023-962761.html?tag=fd_top_8
| You can also get the entire ruling at
| The Access Now case was based upon Title III of the Americans with
| Disabilities Act. The basis for the dismissal was primarily that the
| website is not a place of public accommodation as defined in the ADA.
| I was particularly interested in this portion of the ruling about the
| W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative and the WCAG Guidelines:
| <snip>
| Not only are these guidelines over three-years old, but there is no
| indication that the Web Accessibility Initiative... is a generally
| accepted authority on accessibility guidelines.
| </snip>
| Hmmm... if the W3C isn't a generally accepted authority, then who is?
| ...and because the standards are three-years old, they are no longer
| viable? I guess this demonstrates the uphill battle we face.

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