Weblogs: Web Accessibility

Accessibility in the News: August 2004

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Eliot Spitzer reaffirms ADA on the web Eliot Spitzer, the New York Attorney General must surely be the accessibility Man-of-the-month. Priceline and Ramada - two travel agencies with a significant online presence have settled with Spitzer and conceeded to make their websites accessible according to a list of guidelines taken directly from the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. A positive shot in the arm for the accessible web, and a strong rejoinder to the Seitz Southwest Airlines misruling.

Just under one month to go before Section 21(2) of Part III of the UK Disability Discrimination Act comes into force. This section applies to alterations to physical features of buildings, yet many accessibility "experts" incorrectly apply it to websites. Websites are already liable under the DDA, and have been since May 2002. I am astonished how many web accessibility experts still get this wrong. Even UsableNet recently got it wrong in their newsletter promoting their text-only "solution".

The electronic voting system argument is heating up in the US. In favour of electronic voting are the disability groups - with good reason - the disabled have the tools to cast their own votes without needing to rely on the "help" of others. The other side is populated by groups insisting that the choice they make won't be recorded correctly, or stored correctly by the computer and so are insisting on a printed record of the vote. Of course, the downside is that waiting for this will almost certainly hinder the wide-spread usage of electronic voting in the November US election, and consequently, affecting the voice of the disabled. Yet still the expected levels of accessibility in polling stations on November 2 is mediocre.


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Real world accessibility

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