'

[Irl-dean] All this Directive stuff

Tim Culhane tim.culhane at criticalpath.net
Fri Feb 24 14:43:01 GMT 2006


Hi Brendan,
 
They don't claim it is working,  they acknowledge that the new version of
their website prevents visually impaired users from  accessing their online
timetable.
 
I have written to the customer service manager and received a reply  from
their disabilities officer.
 
She  basically said what I outlined before, i.e.  they know there is a
problem, they will fix it asap, but their IT department is really busy   etc
etc.
 
My argument is that obviously no user testing was carried out on this new
website.
 
It has been forced upon us without any consoltation and now  we can't use
it.
 
The very least they should do is revert to the old system while the fix the
new one.
 
Failing that they should pull out all the stops to fix the new system.
 
 
The question is what is my next step.  I need to make sure I'm on firm
ground before I start making threats.
 
No point saying I'm going to the  equality authority and/or  the ombudsman
if they won't help me.
 
Tim
 

-----Original Message-----
From: irl-dean-admin at list.eeng.dcu.ie
[mailto:irl-dean-admin at list.eeng.dcu.ie] On Behalf Of brendan spillane
Sent: 24 February 2006 14:33
To: irl-dean at list.eeng.dcu.ie
Subject: Re: [Irl-dean] All this Directive stuff



Hi Tim

 

Are they professing to be accessible and therefore lying?

 

As to a response, the treat can often be enough to at least make them give
you a time frame for action. 

 

I would try to get in contact with someone in management a communication
officer or the person who is responsible for the website. Irish Rail is a
large company maybe they have a disability officer? 

 

Maybe mantion that you are planing to speak to the equaility authority, this
may force management to make the IT department act as they wont want hassel
on their desk. 

 

Brendan


 
On 24/02/06, Tim Culhane <tim.culhane at criticalpath.net> wrote: 

Hi guys,
 
As some of you might know  the latest  updates to  Irish Rail's website  at 
 
www.irishrail.ie <http://www.irishrail.ie/> 
 
Have resulted  in the complete inaccessibility of their online timetable
system  for those using screen readers.
 
I have complained to Irish Rail, but so far haven't received any  acceptable
response from them.
 
Basically they have acknowledged the problem, but say that their IT
department is very busy so  will only get around to sorting the problem out
when they can. 
 
Obviously this means  that they have no intention of fixing the problem any
time soon.
 
Since they are bound under sections 26 and 28  of the disability act to make
their  services a ccessible,  does that mean I can complain  to the
ombudsman? 
 
I was planning to ask the equality authority   too take a case against Irish
rail.
 
Which approach would people advise?
 
Thanks,
 
Tim
 

-----Original Message-----
From: irl-dean-admin at list.eeng.dcu.ie
[mailto:irl-dean-admin at list.eeng.dcu.ie] On Behalf Of Stephen N. Bonnlander
Sent: 24 February 2006 13:43
To: irl-dean at list.eeng.dcu.ie  <mailto:irl-dean at list.eeng.dcu.ie> 

Subject: RE: [Irl-dean] All this Directive stuff



That's legalese (my apologies!) for saying: "You can complain first to the
public body where you found a fault in implementing the accessibility
requirements of the Act (effectively Sections 25, 26, 27 and 28), and if you
are not satisfied with their response, you can take your complaint to the
Ombudsman and they will investigate." 

I understand from my colleagues that implementation is ongoing.  That said,
all of these provisions have only been in force since 31 December 2005, a
little more than six weeks, so for public bodies, including the Ombudsman
herself, it is early days. 


Stephen Bonnlander
Disability Equality Unit
Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform
Bishop's Square
Dublin 2




"Mark Magennis" <mark.magennis at ncbi.ie> 
Sent by: irl-dean-admin at list.eeng.dcu.ie 


24/02/2006 13:05 


Please respond to
irl-dean at list.eeng.dcu.ie 



To
<irl-dean at list.eeng.dcu.ie> 

cc

Subject
RE: [Irl-dean] All this Directive stuff	

		




This sounds positive Stephen, but could you clarify what you mean by "a
complaint lies to the Ombudsman for lack of implementation"? What hasn't 
been implemented, who has complained and what is being done about it?

Thanks,
Mark

-----Original Message-----
From: irl-dean-admin at list.eeng.dcu.ie
[mailto:irl-dean-admin at list.eeng.dcu.ie] On Behalf Of Stephen N. 
Bonnlander
Sent: 24 February 2006 12:29
To: irl-dean at list.eeng.dcu.ie
Subject: Re: [Irl-dean] All this Directive stuff 



Hi all, 

thanks for the emails on the EU Directives - to clarify: Gerry and Mark
had communications with the Department of _Finance_ rather than the
Department of Justice, as they well might - it is for the Department of 
Finance to set overall procurement policies for the public sector. 

However, in light of the fact that Section 27 of the Disability Act 2005
also deals with accessibility in procurement of goods and services, I 
have forwarded those mails to colleagues who work on the implementation
of the Act.  Regarding Part 3 of the Disability Act, of which S. 27 is a
part, a complaint lies to the Ombudsman for lack of implementation.   

Hope this helps, 

Stephen Bonnlander
Disability Equality Unit
Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform
Bishop's Square
Dublin 2



"Mark Magennis" <  <mailto:mark.magennis at ncbi.ie> mark.magennis at ncbi.ie> 
Sent by: irl-dean-admin at list.eeng.dcu.ie 
24/02/2006 12:02 Please respond to 
irl-dean at list.eeng.dcu.ie

To<  <mailto:irl-dean at list.eeng.dcu.ie> irl-dean at list.eeng.dcu.ie> 
cc
Subject[Irl-dean] All this Directive stuff







Dear all,

In case anyone on the list is wondering what this Directive stuff is all
about (it's taken me a couple of years to reach even a limited level of 
understanding) and why it's important, here's the situation in a
nutshell.

Up until now, in Ireland there has been little or no legislation that
enforces accessibility of ICT products and services, such as Web sites. 
Even public policy has been very much on the level of lip-service. 

The situation is just about to change significantly. Gerry's post
highlighted the imminent signing into Irish law of two 'statutory
instruments' based on two recent EU public procurement Directives. An EU 
Directive basically says to EU member states "you've all got to do this
now" and usually requires each state to pass or amend some law or other.
There are other levels of EU statements like Communications for example, 
but a Directive is the biggie. It's an order.

These two statutory instruments will be signed into Irish law within the
next few weeks. After that, all public bodies will be legally bound to
follow certain procedures when procuring goods and services. These 
procedures include taking accessibility for people with disabilities
into account. We hope (and hence Gerry's email to the Dept of Justice
and my follow-up email) that the instructions for taking accessibility
into account will be effective and unequivocal. However, we're talking
about legal language here, so it's difficult enough even to read the
things, let alone be sure what they can be said to mean in practice.

That's where my understanding ends (corrections or clarifications
welcome). Can someone explain to me, if a public body doesn't follow
this new law, what can we do about it? I know there was some hoo-ha
around the Disability Bill that perhaps it didn't actually allow anyone 
to get sued for ignoring it. Is that situation any different with these
two statutory instruments?

If you want to keep up on the current situation, CFIT has a page about
Irish legislation and policy which we update whenever anything changes. 
Go to www.cfit.ie/accessibility/accessibility_law_policy.html.

Mark



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