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Politics: The Law As The Big Stick

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2000 20:35:33 -0800
Message-Id: <a05010406b660a0360095@[]>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
This is _definitely_ politics, U.S. politics in specific.

I just read a report from the U.S. Internet Industry Association,
which analyzes the Bush strategy regarding the Internet.  Here is a
URL which links to that white paper, with some further explanation:


The white paper states:

"… Implement Significant New Support for Disabled Access to the Internet.
The Bush program will differ from current initiatives, which focus on new laws
mandating access.  Bush will instead push for a tripling of funding for
Rehabilitative Engineering Research Centers; creation of a new "Technology
Transfer Fund" to help bring assistive technology to market; a tenfold
increase the funding for low-interest loan programs to help people with
disabilities purchase assistive technology; and the provision of $75 million
annually in tax incentives and a new $20 million low interest loan program
to help people with disabilities telework."

Now, I never believe anything about legal policy relating to the 'net
without hearing from Cynthia Waddell first, but I believe that it's very
possible that the idea that the ADA and related laws will somehow be
the white horse "savior" of the web may not be as certain as we had

There may be an increase in "incentives" -- the carrot -- and a decrease
in legislation -- the stick.  How essential to web accessibility is the notion
that the government will somehow step in and legislate and make it all

In a "worst case scenario", there may be no enforcement of laws which
promote web accessibility, and no new laws of that type, for the next four
years (at least).  Would this be a dreadful thing, a minor setback, or not
really a big deal at all?

Discuss among yourselves.

Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
Received on Friday, 15 December 2000 23:39:32 UTC

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