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Image of Lady Liberty blindfolded with sword and scales.

What’s happening in digital accessibility and legal?

James Madison
“If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”
—James Madison, The Federalist Papers No. 51, 1788

Overview

1. History*

Technologies are invented and adopted (not inherently accessible);
Accessibility solutions for said technologies are developed (promoted, sold);
Accessibility solutions are not widely adopted or implemented (citizens, consumers, employees with disabilities are left behind).

2. Laws

Laws get enacted to ensure accessibility solutions are applied to mainstream technologies.

3. Lag

Accessibility researchers and consumers complain about lack of widespread implementation of accessibility solutions.

4. Lawsuits

Lawsuits get filed, argued, settled, and remediation is ordered.

5. Discussions**

Legal issues are presented as part of isolated presentations online, and at accessibility and legal meetings/conferences;
the issue gets reported and debated in the news;
Accessibility and legal services are promoted;
A dedicated event brings players together to promote best practices.

* That was then.
** This is now.

In detail (reverse order, with resource links)

5. Discussions

Legal issues are presented as part of isolated presentations online, and at accessibility and legal meetings/conferences, e.g.,:

The issue gets reported and debated in the news, e.g.,:

Accessibility and legal services are promoted:

A dedicated event brings players together to promote best practices:

4. Lawsuits and settlements

Lawsuits get filed, argued, settled, and remediation is ordered, e.g.,:

3. Lag

Accessibility researchers and consumers complain about lack of widespread implementation of accessibility solutions, e.g.,:

2. Laws and regulations

Laws get enacted to ensure accessibility solutions are applied to mainstream technologies:

ADA (1990) | 255 (1998) | CVAA (2010) | 508 (1998) | 504 (1973) | 501 (1973)

See also:

1. History

Technologies are invented and adopted (not inherently accessible); Accessibility solutions for said technologies are developed (promoted, sold); Accessibility solutions are not widely adopted or implemented (citizens, consumers, employees with disabilities are left behind).

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Image credits

James Madison by Gilbert Stuart, circa 1821. (Public Domain).

Program Motivators Chart: Law, D’Intino, Romanowski & Sinclair. (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

ADA Title III Chart: Copyright Seyfarth Shaw, LLP. (Fair Use).