Bruce Maguire Versus Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG)

A summary of the seminal circumstance relating to Inaccessible Web-sites and Disability Discrimination Legislation

In June 1999 Bruce Maguire lodged a complaint with the Human Legal rights & Equivalent Alternatives Fee less than the Australian Disability Discrimination Act. His criticism was that he was staying discriminated towards simply because he could not accessibility the contents of the Olympic Games web page.

As a highly expert person of a refreshable Braille display screen he was applied to remaining capable to accessibility the articles of world-wide-web webpages, however, he was unable to accessibility significant information on the Olympic Online games web-site.

He received the scenario, but the Olympic Committee did not make the required variations, and subsequently he was awarded $20,000 pounds in compensation.

The Olympic Game titles web page contained the next accessibility troubles:

  • There ended up no labels on pictures or imagemaps.
  • There was no obtain to the index of activity web pages from the schedule web site
  • The contents of the results table have been inaccessible.

The Olympic Committee defence

SOCOG explained that:

  • The troubles with the alt attributes had been solved – and that labels had been added to all photos.
  • The sports activities web pages could be accessed by means of an substitute route, i.e., by typing in URLs to the web pages.
  • The web-site was not subject to the act simply because it was ‘promotional’.
  • The site was far too significant and to make the site available would entail ‘unjustifiable hardship’.
  • It would call for further infrastructure, time and sources costing $2.2 million.
  • 1, 295 templates would want to be altered.
  • One particular human being working 8 hrs for every day would choose above a 12 months to repair the issues.

SOCAG causes were being not recognized

All of the higher than good reasons wherever conclusively repudiated by Australian Authorities and specialist witnesses.

The Human Legal rights Committee did not agree that the internet site was only promotional and said that it was a services furnished for the duration of the Sydney Olympic Games.

The Commission discovered that possessing to entry webpages by typing in a long URL did not represent equivalent cure,


“The proposed option is equally unorthodox and cumbersome and need to have not be resorted to by a sighted person.”

Qualified witnesses dismissed the arguments linked to the site getting too major to modify i.e., they refuted the claim that the expense, complexity and time involved would necessarily mean unjustifiable hardship for SOCOG.

Specialist witnesses concluded that,

  • Variations would consider a developer with 4-10 helpers four months.
  • Only 394 templates would be required.
  • No new infrastructure would be required.
  • The cost of earning the site available would be modest.
  • Accessibility tags are not diverse from other tags, for that reason, would not acquire any for a longer time to increase.

Qualified witness Tom Worthington, expressed the watch that the corrections would acquire significantly less time than the time which was eaten talking about it.

SOCOG shed the situation and had been ordered to make improvements by adding alt characteristics, offering accessibility to the Sporting activities internet pages and producing the final results tables accessible. They refused to comply and have been fined $20,000 (Australian pounds).

The Fee identified that Bruce Maguire had been discriminated versus and that the angle of SOCOG – who had not taken the grievance very seriously – experienced prompted ‘considerable thoughts of hurt, humiliation and rejection’.

The Maguire v the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games set a around the world precedent relating to the prerequisite for web-sites to be available in nations with comparable incapacity discrimination laws.

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