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International Web Accessibility Summit

Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 November 2000

Olympic Failure: A Case for Making the Web Accessible

In August 2000 the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games was found to have engaged in unlawful conduct by providing a web site which was to a significant extent inaccessible to the blind. The Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission ordered the web site be made accessible by the start of the Sydney Olympics. The details of the case and its global implications for government policy and commercial practice on the Internet is examined by one of the expert witnesses who gave evidence to the commission. The wider issue of the public interest in Internet, web and IT development is examined. An analogy with town planning, inspired by the Lake at Blenheim Palace (near Oxford), is explored.

Video of Tom's presentation is available for Real Player, and Tom's paper and PowerPoint presentation are also available on the CD-ROM. Tom also gave permission for Michael Bourk's book, Universal Service? - Telecommunications Policy In Australia and People with Disabilities (edited by Tom) to be included.

Photograph of Tom Worthington Tom Worthington
Director, Tomw Communications

Tom Worthington is a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Computer Science at the Australian National University. He is an independent electronic business consultant and author of the book Net Traveller. Tom is one of the architects of the Commonwealth Government's Internet and web strategy. The first Web Master for the Australian Department of Defence, in 1999 he was elected a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society for his contribution to the development of public Internet policy. Tom is a director and past President of the Australian Computer Society and a voting member of the Association for Computing Machinery.

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