Section 508 of the U.S. 1974 Rehabilitation Act prohibits U.S. federal agencies from using web and electronic publication technologies that are inaccessible to people with disabilities. There has been successful legal action in Australia against a web site provider for discrimination against the disabled. Given there are guidelines available in the USA and Australia to make electronic documents accessible by the disabled and laws requiring their use, why aren't accessible documents more common? Tom Worthington relates his experience as a consultant working with government an industry on web accessibility.
Tom Worthington is a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology at the Australian National University. He is an electronic business consultant, author of the book Net Traveller and information technology professional, with 17 years experience. Tom was an expert witness on the accessibility of the Sydney Olympic Web Site in the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission in August 2000. He consults on web policy and teaches web design and e-commerce.
This document is Version 2.0 – 18 July 2002: http://www.tomw.net.au/2002/maa.html
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