Sydney Olympics found to discriminate against blind complainant
September 3, 2000 3:32 PM   Subscribe

Sydney Olympics found to discriminate against blind complainant Bruce Maguire defeats the mighty Olympics. The Australians are requiring SOCOG to take three basic accessibility steps on by September 15. Reader's guide to the decision.
posted by joeclark (4 comments total)
OK, the obvious question is... why should they comply? This is a situation where a delay of 2 weeks would be as good as not doing it at all. And it's not like the SOCOG even needs to exist after the end of September. And this is IBM's last Olympics I believe, so what do they care? They're just the contractor anyway. So while it's great that this guy won, what's the chance that those accessibility steps are actually gonna get done?
posted by smackfu at 10:42 PM on September 3, 2000

This past week - in a news story I can no longer find on Yahoo! - the SOCOG said exactly that: the expense was enormous and the time it would take would exceed that actual running the Games; therefore, they'd do nothing, since Maguire had proved his point in court.
posted by m.polo at 6:46 AM on September 4, 2000

The reason why SOCOG has no big impulse to comply with the ruling is because They're the Olympics and They're a Law Unto Themselves. M.Polo: SOCOG's claims of enormous cost outlays (A$2.2 million, exactly) and time requirements were rejected by the inquiry after testimony from expert witnesses. And SOCOG never bothered to tell anyone how much else they're spending on the Web site. For all we know, $2.2 million may be a drop in the bucket. And anyway, M.Polo, the inquiry did not merely state that Maguire was right, so we can all go home. There is always the remedy component of a legal action. The inquiry ordered a remedy, which of course SOCOG will now ignore. Finally, keep in mind that one of the tasks they're required to do is add ALT texts. Now, compared to IBM's real-time results system or even online ticketing, just how difficult will that be?
posted by joeclark at 10:49 AM on September 4, 2000

Oopsy. Forgot something.Maguire's complaint was lodged in June 1999, and the inquiry noted that SOCOG did everything possible to delay the hearing so that SOCOG could then claim compliance could not be accomplished within the remaining time. It don't take 15 months to add ALT texts.
posted by joeclark at 10:54 AM on September 4, 2000

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