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RE: here's the boston globe article

From: Waddell, Cynthia <cynthia.waddell@ci.sj.ca.us>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 10:05:34 -0800
Message-ID: <3EC0FC2EAE6AD1118D5100AA00DCD8830345AAF3@sj-exchange.ci.sj.ca.us>
To: "'Judy Brewer'" <jbrewer@w3.org>, WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Cc: Chuck Hitchcock <chitchcock@cast.org>
Judy and Chuck-
As Judy stated, the AOL case is not just about AOL employees.  The Americans
with Disabilities Act also seeks to remove a host of barriers in the
public's access to programs, services and facilities.  When a program or
service screens out access based on disability, then it becomes a target.  I
am discussing this in the articles I am writing at the request of the
American Bar Association and the National Disability Law Reporter.

Cynthia D. Waddell

Cynthia D. Waddell   
ADA Coordinator
City Manager Department
City of San Jose, CA USA
801 North First Street, Room 460
San Jose, CA  95110-1704
(408)971-0134 TTY
(408)277-3885 FAX

-----Original Message-----
From: Judy Brewer [mailto:jbrewer@w3.org]
Sent: Wednesday, November 10, 1999 6:56 AM
To: WAI Interest Group
Cc: Chuck Hitchcock
Subject: RE: here's the boston globe article


Two thoughts as a follow-up on your message:

You mentioned that the Americans with Disabilities Act might be applicable
to an ISP if it were an issue of reasonable accommodation in the workplace.
My understanding is that there may be a broader angle of applicability as
well. For background take the US Department of Justice's September 1996
opinion <http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/foia/tal712.txt> on the applicability of
the ADA to the Web: besides state and local government, it also mentions
places of public accommodation and their obligations for communication
access. It will be interesting to see how that is interpreted in US courts. 

You also mentioned that there are so many ISP choices available. Sometimes
the most convenient choice for an ISP subscriber would be an ISP that one's
family members, colleagues, or friends are already subscribed to, so as to
take advantage of informal support on initially learning the application,
and to take advantage of features such as instant messaging where more
options might be available among subscribers of the same ISP than among
subscribers of other ISP's.

- Judy

At 06:19 PM 11/7/99 -0500, Chuck Hitchcock wrote:
>I too thought that Hiawatha Bray did a pretty good job in the Boston Globe
>with the NFB / AOL issue, except with regard to the manner in which he
>quoted me.  He used a small part of one of my quotes to set up the
>that followed.
>Of course ADA applies to the Internet, but not to everything about it.  At
>least not yet.
>I don't consider AOL representative of the Internet.  I did tell Mr. Bray
>that ADA would likely apply if this had been a complaint filed by employees
>of AOL who could not gain access to the application in the conduct of their
>work or by employees of any organization requiring access to AOL as a job
>requirement.  I suspect that the Justice Department might consider action
>AOL received federal funds.  I view AOL as an application and unfortunately
>there are very many inaccessible applications.
>Personally, I have little use for AOL other than to have a variety of
>Internet log-on options when traveling both within and outside of the
>states.  Once connected using an AOL phone number for Internet access, the
>application can be minimized so that I can access my regular POP mail
>account or use Internet Explorer or another browser to access web content.
>Accessibility applies then to IE and the web pages which are accessed.  I
>would never recommend AOL to anyone who was blind, even for this purpose
>since so many other ISP options are available.
>By the way, it is probably not a bad thing to have awareness increased by
>this sort of action.  Too bad the Microsoft news had to break to push
>internet access into the background once again.
>Chuck Hitchcock
>Director, National Center on Access
>to the General Curriculum and
>Chief Education Technology Officer,
>CAST, Inc.,
>39 Cross Street, Peabody, MA 01960
>Email chitchcock@cast.org
>Voice 978 531-8555
>TTY   978 531-3110
>Fax   978 531-0192
Judy Brewer    jbrewer@w3.org    +1.617.258.9741    http://www.w3.org/WAI
Director,Web Accessibility Initiative(WAI), World Wide Web Consortium(W3C)

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Received on Wednesday, 10 November 1999 13:03:09 UTC

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