Web Accessibility and the Law: Issues in Implementation

Web Accessibility and the Law: Issues in Implementation

Holly Yu
Copyright: © 2003 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-107-0.ch001
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Through a series of federal and state laws and standards, the legal foundation concerning Web accessibility that impact people with disabilities and their ability to fully overcome digital barriers and participate in the Web environment has been established. Currently, the concept of accessible design or universal design is increasingly becoming an important component of Web design. However, the unanswered questions in laws, the absence of the obligation in fulfilling legal requirements, and the general unawareness of the need to make Web pages accessible have created barriers in implementing the Americans with disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act as amended in 1998, and others. In many cases, the absence of obligations is due to unfamiliarity with legal responsibility of creating accessible Web sites. As a result, the response to Web accessibility concerns frequently comes about only on an ad hoc basis. Identifying these barriers is the first step toward solutions. There are legal and practical approaches for addressing Web accessibility issues in policies, education, research and development, and technology and tools.

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