Nic,

Whoops!  I missed that subtle distinction between the ADA and the Rehab
Act.   It's been a rough week.  Slap me with a <blink> tag.

In any case, I really would like to see a Section 508 (or ADA) case here in
the States brought against a private company.  The law itself needs a court
challenge to test its validity and its viability with respect to electronic
accessibility.  Only then can we as web developers have any teeth with web
standards, including accessibility.  At the same time, a successful court
case in favor of Section 508 (or ADA) would have repercussions much wider
than many may realize.   Can you imagine how some big web clients would
react to find out their sites are not accessible after their high profile
web developers assured them they were?   We've already seen on this list a
discussion about such a firm and their code on some big name sites.

>> Cheers, I hope my long mail hasn't bored you to tears

Oh, no way!  It's refreshing to read here about the (potential)
ramifications of the code we create.  Any honest discussions of web
standards needs to have regular doses of real-world effects of that code.

Dennis




                                                                           
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             02/09/2006 11:07          RE: [WSG] Target sued over          
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Dennis, thanks for that link, an interesting opinion, and one that flies in
the face of several court cases throughout the US (in particular Florida a
few years ago)

> The New York State Attorney General offered a legal opinion
> that all web site originating within that state are subject
> to Section 508 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act

I read that and I thought "huh? That can't be right".  And reading the page
on the link provided, it turns out that statement isn't quite right.  The
NY
State AG said that

"the Americans With Disabilities Act requires that private web sites be
accessible to blind and visually impaired Internet users."

Two things of note here:

First, it is the ADA that is cited, NOT Section 508 of the US Vocational
Rehabilitation Act.  Section 508 is NOT applicable as the VRA applies
soleley to US Federal agencies (and some organisations funded primarely
with
federal money, such as some universities), it always has, and always will.

This is an important distinction, because the ADA does not mention anywhere
in its text that it covers access to the internet (It was written pre-1990
and signed on July 26, 1992).  Therefore, to state that the ADA applies
also
to companies doing business over the internet is a point that can be
argued.
In fact, while it seems logical that it *should* apply, that very argument
has been used several times to lose court cases and make bad precedents (I
don't have time to dig my archives for references, but if anyone's
interested, I'll be pleased to do so).

-- snip --


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