New Zealand Businesses At Risk Over Internet Access
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
April 27, 2005
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND--While the New Zealand government is taking the lead on making its Internet websites accessible to the 81,500 people with vision-related disabilities in the country, the business community has been slow to act.
According to a recent article in the New Zealand Herald, websites are supposed to meet international accessibility standards if they are considered a public service under the New Zealand Human Rights Act. This could include any site that offers on-line sales, one website auditor explained.
Some businesses have simply chosen to ignore the guidelines, but at their own risk, said organizations that promote web accessibility. Even though it makes good business sense to make sites accessible to all customers, the groups predicted that it will take the threat of lawsuits to make businesses comply.
"In practice, the benefits are pretty clear," said David Harris, councilor at InternetNZ. "You can make a pretty good business case for making your website accessible over and above any retribution from the gods of the legal system."
"Sites slow to help disabled" (New Zealand Herald)
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