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

From: C. Bottelier <c.bottelier@iradis.org>
Date: Tue, 08 Oct 2002 21:06:27 +0200
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

At 12:50 AM 10/8/02, Nissen, Dan E wrote:
>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

This may be through for a few countries but not for the group of
disabled worldwide. I'm from the Netherlands where most disabled
(except for the cognitive disabled) have jobs. Agreed that the
income they get out of their jobs is a bit lower then average.
Personally I know quite some disabled with good jobs making above
$50.000 a year, some even over $80.000 a year. Thats way more then
I get as a visual impaired, but I get the same as my collegues who
are not disabled. It depends on the countrie, the athmosphere of
the companies they get in contact with, and the attitude and
self esteem someone has.

And why should/has sonebody just because he is disabled or has a
lower income (caused by the first thing or not) who wants to visit
his family not the right to get his plane ticket (or what ever kind
of product or information) for a good price. The point is not that
he/she could get the discount on the plane ticket by telephone
because he couldn't bug the ticket online. The point about
accessibility is how would this person know about to ring for the
ticket in the first place if he/she would not know about the
discount, or even about the airline?

If I was unable to use the internet to search for airline tickets
from A to B, I would have to go to the local travel agent who I
just happen to know about and just buy what they got. This instead
of the maybe 20 different tickets I could get online, of which 9
airlines I even didn't know exsisted.

To take a non hyphotetical example, I wanted to buy a digital camera,
that could replace my old reflex one. Through a couple of review
sites I found the type I wanted. I got to the store a few blocks away
and they did sell it. I was happy, till I saw the price. I would
cost be near $1500 USD. I went back the my PC and found quite some
stores that sold it. I know own the same camera for only $970. That's
more than 54% lower in price.

If I was a bit more visual impaired (I see around 20%) I would not
have replaced my old reflex. And thats less income for the maker
of the camera, the distributor, and the store.

>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 company can provide someone to type in the data
>for the disabled where they allow their non-disabled to write in
>a form.  Only one stall in a bathroom needs to be accessible, not
>all.  Perhaps only the telephone service from the airlines is

Not entirely through. The solution doesn't have to be same same, but
the amount of service and information should / must be.
As It would also be strange that the stall for the disabled would
have the support bars and so, so that a wheelchair user can use it,
but that there would be no toiletpaper and no water, bacause we had
to put in the bars and the extra space, so we found that we did
enough. And this is what some companies do. I have seen more than
once that they have some javascript at the first page that either
loads to a 1024x786+, flash, IE5/6 only page, or a page with a message
saying get a IE as browser and make your resolution higher, or come
to our salepoint, or call for our paper catalog. Some companies even
have a piece of javascript in every page that redirects you to a page
get IE5/6, but their page is well viewed in Netcape or Mozilla when
javascript is disabled. Strange to my eyes, not the the suits.

Received on Tuesday, 8 October 2002 14:59:30 UTC

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