International policy and legislation

More retailers under the hammer for inaccessible websites

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A new wave of lawsuits has begun in the USA with Kmart, McDonald’s, Sears, Ace Hardware, and GrubHub among the latest to be sued by blind and vision-impaired people for having inaccessible websites that exclude them from ordering products online.

Judges gavel hammer

Judges gavel hammer

A blind woman is alleging in the Chicago federal court that three major retailers are denying her, and similarly vision-impaired people, access to their websites in violation of US federal law. Kayla Reed filed suits on 8 September against hardware retailer Ace Hardware, flooring retailer Empire Today and discount store chain Kmart.

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Push for mandatory captioning in New Zealand

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Change is being urged in New Zealand when it comes to TV and film captioning for Deaf and hearing impaired people. The reality behind this call to action is the fact that this important section of society is missing out on a huge amount that contributes to their quality of life when captioning isn't available.

Don’t just tell me. Show me.

Don’t just tell me. Show me.


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Website inaccessibility court cases on the rise

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In March 2016 ‘Colorado Bags n’ Baggage’ became the first retailer in the US to lose a litigation case because their website was inaccessible. Today, there are dozens of court cases that are either scheduled to be heard or that have already settled out of court, as a surge of legal cases bring web accessibility into the mainstream, with broader implications for Australia and around the world.

‘Sorry it’s the law’ within a red circle

'Sorry it's the law' within a red circle

The California State Court became the first in the US to rule that a retailer violated the country’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) due to a website not being accessible to individuals with vision-related disabilities.

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Section 508 gets ICT upgrade to match WCAG Level A & AA standards

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In a move welcomed by disability groups and advocates, the U.S. Access Board has updated their accessibility requirements for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) within Section-508 of the Rehabilitation Act,to bring it into line with European and WCAG (Level A, AA) standards.

Access stamp

Access stamp

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Calls for a Technology Bill of Rights for People with Disabilities in the US

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The National Council on Disability (NCD) in the United States has made a call to establish a ‘Technology Bill of Rights for People with Disabilities’ as part of a series of recommendations to the US Federal Government for making technology more accessible to people with a sensory, cognitive, or mobility disability.

Image of original US Bill of Rights

Image of original US Bill of Rights

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New Zealand gives go-ahead for data-driven disability plan

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The New Zealand government is committed to developing a Disability Plan in order to ensure that government agencies have the necessary digitally-delivered data to make informed, evidence-based policy decisions on New Zealanders with a disability.

A sign with the word 'Planning' on it

Improving the availability of quality information about those with a disability or impairment in NZ will lead to better decision-making by government agencies, say both the Statistics Minister Craig Foss, and the Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner.

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ADHD students gain more Civil Rights protection in the US

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The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has just issued guidance that clarifies the obligation of schools in the United States to provide students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with equal educational opportunities.

Image of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) logo

Image of the Office for Civil Rights logo

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Governments are toughening up on public sector web accessibility

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State and Federal Governments around the globe are toughening up on public sector web accessibility. The latest case is the Alaskan Juneau School District, which felt the wrath of that state’s Government because of a complaint from the public that their websites aren’t inclusive for all needs.

close up of a man writing on some documents

After receiving the disability discrimination complaint, Alaskan authorities undertook a rigorous investigation and found out that ten other schools, educational groups, and institutions (including the Montana School for the Deaf and blind) also had accessibility issues on their websites.


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UK charity puts pressure on government to enforce web accessibility

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Robin Christopherson, head of digital inclusion at Abilitynet, a UK disabilities charity, has written an open letter to the British Parliament, to put pressure on the people in power to fine organisations whose websites and apps fail to comply with WCAG 2.0.

Traffic warden issuing a parking ticket on a busy London road


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More than 2,300 people have signed to legislate closed captioning in NZ

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On Global Accessibility Awareness Day, 19 May 2016, the New Zealand Captioning Working Group submitted a petition to Mojo Mathers, Green MP, with more than 2,300 signatures in a bid for the House of Representatives to legislate closed captioning across all relevant media. 

A Woman holds and points a remote control at a TV screen


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