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Chapter 3. Accessibility in Law and Policy > Is the Internet Public Space?

Is the Internet Public Space?

Now that we have seen some of the efforts that public institutions have made to establish commitment and develop policy, let’s examine how policy is monitored and enforced.

Olympics Case Has International Consequences

As we saw above, Australia has a strong commitment to accessible information technology. In a 1999 lawsuit, Bruce Lindsay Maguire sued the Sydney Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games. On June 7, Maguire—who is blind—complained to the Commission that he was unlawfully discriminated against in three respects: the failure to provide Braille copies of the information required to place orders for Olympic Games tickets, the failure to provide Braille copies of the Olympic Games souvenir program, and the failure to provide a Web site that was accessible to the complainant. [9] Maguire sued under the provisions of the Australian DDA and in August 1999 the HREOC found in his favor. Although the designers of the site argued in court that it would take months and millions of dollars to remedy, once the ruling was handed down they managed it in days for an estimated cost of less than $30,000. [10]

[9] Accessed January 12, 2002, at http://scaleplus.law.gov.au/html/ddadec/0/2000/0/DD000120.htm.

[10] Accessed January 12, 2002, at Ten.20.net Magazine, http://www.ten-20.com/2olympicWebsite.html.


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