W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > January to March 2002

Re: WA - background-image in CSS

From: Charles F. Munat <chas@munat.com>
Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2002 10:53:01 -0800
Message-ID: <3C486F0D.9030508@munat.com>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

RUST Randal wrote:

> as a journalist, i find the point of view that the user has control over
> what i determine is essential is simply ludicrous.

Yes, and back in the 1960s, many store owners thought that they had a 
right to decide who they would serve and how. If blacks were served at 
all, they had to enter through the back door. And when confronted with 
the discriminatory aspect of this practice, the store owners loudy 
protested their right to discriminate.

How does your attitude differ? Why do you deserve control, but they don't?

Remember, please, that you are operating in a public place.

If you are *not* doing business on the web (i.e., it is a personal 
site), then your right to free expression takes precedence, and you can 
make your page as inaccessible as you like.

But if you are engaging in some form of commerce (even if it is 
operating a club or providing a free service), then you have no right to 
do so in a discriminatory manner. The right of the people to equal 
access to your site overrides your right to free expression (just as the 
public's right to safety overrides your right to shout "fire!" in a 
crowded theater).

Believe me, the idea that people could tell them how to run their 
businesses struck those 1960's businessmen as just as ludicrous. (Sadly, 
some of these attitudes can still be found, though they've mostly gone 
undercover now.)

Accessibility is a civil rights issue, and civil rights issues are human 
rights issues.

Charles F. Munat
Seattle, Washington
Received on Friday, 18 January 2002 13:51:43 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Tuesday, 19 July 2011 18:14:00 GMT