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RE: Undue Burden and AOL

From: Leonard R. Kasday <kasday@acm.org>
Date: Sat, 27 Nov 1999 22:05:52 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: jeffrey pledger <jpledger@mindspring.com>, "Waddell, Cynthia" <cynthia.waddell@ci.sj.ca.us>, "'Kynn Bartlett'" <kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com>, David Poehlman <poehlman@clark.net>
Cc: Claude Sweet <sweetent@home.com>, WAI Interest Group Emailing List <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

re your comment that

 > There are alot more
 > deaf/hard of hearing users on the internet than you propose in your
 > analysis.

Actually,   I wasn't making any assumptions about the number of Deaf or 
hard of hearing users on the internet, although I was responding to someone 
who said that it was "perhaps 1%".   (It can be tricky counting the 
greaterthan signs to figure out who said what).   You're no doubt right 
that 1% is an underestimate though: e.g. according to the 1992 census


5.6% of the population 15 and older has difficulty "hearing normal 

But the main point is that even if the number had been as small as 1%, 
businesses would be obligated to accommodate them under ADA unless it was 
an "undue burden".


At 05:52 PM 11/26/99 -0500, jeffrey pledger wrote:
>         Your analysis is correct except for one small detail.  There are 
> alot more
>deaf/hard of hearing users on the internet than you propose in your
>         What might be deemed as a compromise solution to the problem you 
> bring up
>is a phased approach to making one's site completely accessible.  For if
>you could put the arguement for not making your multi-media files
>accessible, why wouldn't the same arguement work for mot making the web
>site accessible for the blind/visually impairred?
>         Just something to ponder when you want to talk about 
> accessibility over
>the web.
>Jeffrey Pledger
>President, Able Channel At 06:02 PM 11/19/99 -0500, Leonard R. Kasday wrote:
> >Let me see if I understand Cynthia's comments on Kynn's opinion that
> >
> >>As a businessman, sure, I'd like to have my website reach everyone.
> >>But if it costs me $10,000 to create the site, but would cost me
> >>an extra $50,000 to make sure it's available to deaf users (because
> >>I have multiple multimedia files that need synchronized captioning),
> >>I'm not going to pay 500% more just so that a very small audience
> >>(perhaps 1%) can access it.
> >
> >
> >If we're talking about a small business with total profits of $30,000 a
> >year, so that spending the extra 50,000 would bankrupt the company, then as
> >I understand it it's undue burden.
> >
> >However, if we're talking about a company with profits in the Billions per
> >year, and this is merely an annual expense, it's no longer an undue burden,
> >right?
> >
> >Len
> >-------
> >Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.
> >Institute on Disabilities/UAP, and
> >Department of Electrical Engineering
> >
> >Temple University
> >423 Ritter Annex, Philadelphia, PA 19122
> >kasday@acm.org
> >
> >(215) 204-2247 (voice)
> >(800) 750-7428 (TTY)
> >
> >

Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.
Institute on Disabilities/UAP, and
Department of Electrical Engineering
Temple University
423 Ritter Annex, Philadelphia, PA 19122


(215) 204-2247 (voice)
(800) 750-7428 (TTY)
Received on Saturday, 27 November 1999 22:01:58 UTC

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