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RE: Media - Suit Over Airlines' Web Sites Tests Bounds of ADA

From: Access Systems <accessys@smart.net>
Date: Mon, 7 Oct 2002 19:48:36 -0400 (EDT)
To: "Nissen, Dan E" <Dan.Nissen@UNISYS.com>
cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.21.0210071934130.13644-100000@smarty.smart.net>

On Mon, 7 Oct 2002, Nissen, Dan E wrote:

> I am trying to see the differences that make it a requirement to make a
> "accessible" website for an airline and does not require the New York Times
> to provide a newspaper for those same people.

no but the NYT web site has to be accessible

don't know about the NYT but where I live (major city south of New York)
the Radio Reading service daily reads every word of the local newspaper to
the subscribers (free) including ads' and the funnies before 12noon every
day of the week.

> The reason that you see so little attention to the disabled by business is
> that the market is miniscule and most of the disabled do not have the income
> to buy most of the goods and services of the society.  A startlingly large
> percentage of blind people do not have jobs.  This fact is why many
> retailers focus on other groups.  And, the lack of accommodation may be a
> cause of the unemployment.  This makes it harsh to say you don't have to
> accommodate.

catch 22, we don't provide because you don't use, you don't use because we
don't provide 

yeah that sounds about right

> Another point not addressed in this message stream seems to be the
> accommodation part of the ADA.  You aren't required to provide exactly the
> same solution for the disabled as for the non-disabled.  For instance, the

equivalent facilitation

> company can provide someone to type in the data for the disabled where they
> allow their non-disabled to write in a form.

not always legal, depends on how confidential the data is.

>  Only one stall in a bathroom
> needs to be accessible, not all.

right the one that everyone else uses first

>  Perhaps only the telephone service from the airlines is required.

ONLY if it were truely equivalent in every way...24/7 service, same sales,
same search service etc.   and then how does that help someone who is also
speech impaired??

> In any case, and more pertinent to this forum, I am very concerned with the
> tone that implies it is trivial to provide a fully accessible web site.  I

actually it is trivial, it is when folks add all the eye candy and fluff
that it becomes inaccessible,  I have been on the internet for over 20
years and it was far more accessible years ago, because everything was
just plain text.   (a fast modem was 2,400 baud)

> do not believe this to be the case, after watching this forum for a number
> of months and seeing many discussions terminate without a clear answer as to
> how to assure that your website does what all people answering here ask you

because folks like to be fancy and show off thier "skill" and making it
pretty without enhancing the content.  

> to do.  Do I use a LABEL or a TITLE?  Must I test with 25 or 150 different
> versions of browsers?  How many client operating systems must I support and
> test browsers on?  Which screen readers, etc. must I try my site on?  It is

there are one or two basic systems that are "lowest common
denominator" that you can test with.....if it works in Lynx you can be
pretty sure it will work with most adaptive gear

> clear that if you don't test it, it probably doesn't work.  And, bugs in all
> the software are appearing regularly, requiring workarounds, because this
> forum does not seem to believe that users should have to upgrade their

how do you "Force" someone to spend money when they don't have it???  and
as said before what about the "rest" of the world. it is the WORLD WIDE
web... I work with folks in Nicaragua that consider themselves lucky to
get thier old original mac to work and they pay for phone connection by
the minute...you can't force them to spend a months salary on some eye
candy.

> browsers. I think this is a difficult area to get right.  I think we need to
> define a standard and allow people to require usage of browsers that follow
> some standard when talking about accessibility.  I'm not sure the standard


I thougt the "minimum level of service" was Lynx or similar

> is yet done, but it appears a lot closer than the browsers that follow it.
> And, many people want to use the free OS and the free browser that is not
> compatible with the standard, it seems.

??? you work for gates or something??

> When I deal with the decision makers in my company and say we need to follow
> Section 508, they ask for the details.  Exactly when do we have to follow
> it, and what do we do to assure ourselves that we have followed it?  It

sure you do.  read the reccomended practices

> appears we don't have definitive answers, really.  What is the economic
> impact of not following it?  What will it cost to follow it?  I am

the cost of defending the law suit will be far higher than the cost of
compliance

> definitely having problems answering those questions, and I am sure others
> are also.  In my case, it has resulted in a lower priority for
> accessibility, because it is such a vague requirement.

it is not vague it just doesn't fit your desires or what you think should
be the "standard"  

> Comments solicited.

you asked

Bob
> 
> Regards,
> Dan
> 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: RUST Randal [mailto:RRust@COVANSYS.com]
> Sent: Monday, October 07, 2002 9:47 AM
> To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> Subject: RE: Media - Suit Over Airlines' Web Sites Tests Bounds of ADA
> 
> 
> 
> > Shanx:
> > Wonder why no one has ever sued NYT or IHT for the small 
> > print in their newspapers. Suddenly, the Internet and all the 
> > Bobby and accessibility jazz that is bandied about so 
> > liberally has encouraged every Joe with a handicap and his 
> > dog to scrounge for some sympathy. But suing is ridiculous. 
> > Perhaps an education in customized CSS or VIEW --> TEXT SIDE 
> > is in order. 
> 
> > Harry Woodrow:
> > Yes but Discrimination is even more ridiculous.
> 
> > Andrew McFarland:
> > There is an important difference between print and the web.
> 
> Harry and Andrew are both on the mark.  Web and print are different, though
> similar mediums.  And accessibility isn't /bandied about/ in the U.S. as
> much as some of us would like.  In fact, if you go beyond Web design circles
> and outside of the public sector, no one really seems to care if their Web
> site is accessible.  I wish that this were not the case, but it seems just
> so.
> 
> Randal
> 

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Received on Monday, 7 October 2002 19:49:01 GMT

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