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[Irl-dean] Irish rail website

Barry McMullin mcmullin at eeng.dcu.ie
Tue Mar 7 09:15:19 GMT 2006


On Tue, 7 Mar 2006, Tim Culhane wrote:

> I'm quite happy to work with Irish Rail if they are willing to
> work with me.  However, so far, I've seen little sign that they
> are willing to work with, or even consult the end users of
> their online services.

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice!

But ... I suggest you might get a little more traction (OK, pun
intended) if you send Irish Rail a formal "notification" of a
possible breach of the Equal Status Act.  The Equality Authority
has a standard form letter (ES.1) which you can just fill in for
this purpose.  It is available (in MS-Word format) at this URL:

<http://www.equalitytribunal.ie/uploadedfiles/AboutUs/es_1.doc>

Sending this does not commit you to any particular subsequent
course of action - the whole point of it is to give the
organisation you are complaining to an opportunity to think about
their responsibilities and respond constructively; but it *is* a
first step, which is legally required under the Act, that
*allows* you to subsequently lodge a formal complaint and/or
invoke the Equality Authority mediation procedures.  I think this
might ring some alarm bells in Irish Rail; more to the point, if
there *are* people inside Irish Rail who are trying to get the
resources to sort this out, this could help them argue their
case.

More information from the Equality Authority about "Equal Status"
is at this URL:

<http://www.equalitytribunal.ie/index.asp?locID=4&docID=-1>

Finally, as it happens, one of my students last semester (Robin
Blandford) chose the Irish Rail site for a case study "usability"
and "accessibility" evaluation. He has made his full report
available at this URL:

<http://www.writely.com/View.aspx?docid=adrs34dv552r>

I'm not sure exactly how this was timed relative to the recent
changes in the site; but you will see that he highlighted much
the same issues that have already been mentioned here.

Best - Barry.




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