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Thread: h accessibility Was: Re: International Accessibility Laws and Standards


Number of posts in this thread: 1 (In chronological order)

From: Mark Magennis
Date: Wed, Dec 01 2004 2:58AM
Subject: Irish accessibility Was: Re: International Accessibility Laws and Standards
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For those interested in knowing about the accessibility legislation and
policy situation in Ireland, the report mentioned below by Vijay is
pretty indicative. It comes from 1999 which is pretty old. It is also
very light. It was written as an internal guidelines document for
government webmasters so it does not have any real force of "official
government policy" behind it. Since then, a number of similar
recommendations or statements of intent have been made.

Feb 2000: In the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness
t.htm), the Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) stated that Government
departments and agencies will have to "take all reasonable action to"
comply with the NDA IT accessibility guidelines (http://accessIT.nda.ie)
by Feb 2005. The NDA guidelines cover a number of technologies. The Web
section repeats WCAG 1.0 but presents it in easier language and with
more explanation.

Dec 2000: The third report of the Information Society Commission
(http://www.isc.ie/thirdreport.html) came up with the following
recommendations (section 6.3.2):
. Ensure compliance with Priority 1 and Priority 2 WAI (Web
Accessibility Initiative) by end 2001
. Specify the requirement in all tenders for government web-site design
with immediate effect
. All public service tenders should specify compliance with universal
design principles for projects involving information and communications
technology with immediate effect

Again, these are somewhat toothless recommendations and state
organisations were in no way bound by policy edicts, so these
recommendations were generally not met. Some amount of dhe desire and
awareness has filtered through since then, so a lot of state
organisations are now at least paying some attention to Web
accessibility, but with generally disapointing results.

The main bit of action in Ireland at the moment concerns the Disability
Bill. This is a general piece of Disability Rights legislation which
will apply to the public sector only. It is currently going through
parliament in its second incarnation, having been resoundingly rejected
one year ago for reasons unconnected with Web accessibility. The current
wording of the Bill where it relates to the accessibility of IT systems,
including the Web, is very flawed in my opinion and I have made a
submission to the Department on behalf of the National Council for the
Blind of Ireland recommending ways in which it should be rewritten.
Hopefully, it will be re written and this legislation will have the same
power as the UK Disability Discrimination Act, although it will still
only apply to the public sector. We will have to wait and see.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: brianvijay
> Sent: 30 November 2004 17:55
> To: WebAIM Discussion List
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] International Accessibility Laws and Standards
> Accessibility @ Ireland:
> http://www.taoiseach.gov.ie/index.asp?docID=259
> Section 7 addresses accessibility guidelines.
> (Resource:
> http://www.uiaccess.com/access_links.html#government_laws_regs
> _policies)
> Vijay