New Dutch accessibility law

New Dutch accessibility law (QuirksBlog)

The Dutch accessibility law is awesome (456 Berea St)

required by law to use:

* valid HTML 4.01 or XHTML 1.0
* CSS and semantic HTML and separation of structure and presentation
* progressive enhancement
* the W3C DOM (instead of the old Microsoft document.all)
* meaningful values of class and id
* meaningful alt attributes on all images


Federal judge sustains discrimination claims against Target

Federal judge sustains discrimination claims against Target; precedent establishes that retailers must make their websites accessible to the blind under the ADA.

A federal district court judge ruled yesterday that a retailer may be sued if its website is inaccessible to the blind. The ruling was issued in a case brought by the National Federation of the Blind against Target Corp. The suit charges that Target’s website is inaccessible to the blind, and therefore violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. (ADA), the California Unruh Civil Rights Act, and the California Disabled Persons Act.


gov law

Web accessibility soon mandatory in Europe?

The UK and other countries in and outside of Europe are making progress towards more web accessibility. Most recently, the 25 European Commission member states and nine accession countries announced a plan that could make accessibility in e-procurement mandatory. Hoorah! Let’s hope it goes into action, and the U.S. takes similar action sometime soon.

Web accessibility soon mandatory in Europe?


Accessibility law in the U.S

Most of us know that federal web sites in the United States must comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act for web accessibility.

Many people overlook the fact that any non-federal entity that receives federal monies needs to comply with Section 504 (of the Rehabilitation Act) to provide reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities. This includes any university, city, county, and state government which receives federal funding. Although the sites do not have to be 508-compliant specifically, adhering to Section 508 requirements can be used as an easy and more thorough method of meeting Section 504 obligations.

Most states have passed some type of policy, standard or law on web accessibility. States have adopted standards as defined by Section 508, the W3C, a mix of the two, or developed their own standards.

Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 also addresses web-related accessibility issues. The Act requires telecommunications products and services (including computers with modems and internet connections) to be accessible to people with disabilities.

Note that a phone number or other means as a work-around for an inaccessible web site does not satisfy Section 508.

Learn more here (ITTATC)


More than 508

What do the US, UK, Denmark, Australia, Italy, Japan and India have in common? Yes, they all have legislation for web accessibility!

So I apologize if I’ve mentioned “Section 508” but not the other laws around the world. I didn’t realize until recently how much legislation exists. Hopefully the law will spread. Case in point, the US government has law to cover accessibility for federal web sites and other electonic media, but to my knowledge no states have passed legislation.