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Re: Judgement in the SouthWest case.

From: Terry Brainerd Chadwick <tbchad@tbchad.com>
Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 12:37:02 -0700
Message-Id: <5.1.0.14.2.20021022121845.030c01b8@mail.spiretech.com>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>


> > It would seem that the Judge has passed ... a judgement in the
> > SouthWest airlines cases. The story can be found at:
> >
> >    http://news.com.com/2100-1023-962761.html

It's very difficult for me to understand the reasoning behind this 
decision.  How can the Web not be a place of public accommodation when some 
airlines charge more for tickets not purchased over the Web?  When many 
private companies require job applications to be submitted through the web 
and only through the web?  When more and more forms, manuals, and other 
things involved in conducting business are available only via the Web?

For a business where the Web is the preferred or a major way to conduct 
business, then it is a place of public accommodation.  Otherwise, people 
unable to access the website are unable to do business with the company.

This is analogous to a situation where not having ramps or elevators may 
make it extremely difficult for people with mobility problems to do 
business with a firm located on the third floor of a building.  According 
to ADA, the ramps are required.  Similarly,   websites must be accessible.

I don't know if SW Airlines has the pricing differential for web vs non-web 
tickets.  Perhaps not, so the judge may be correct that ADA doesn't apply 
in this case because there are reasonable alternatives.  But to say that 
the web is not a place of public accommodation shows quite clearly that the 
judge is either incompetent in interpreting the law, is being paid off, or 
is completely out of touch with current business practices.  For any or all 
of those reasons, she should be removed from the bench.  (Is this an 
elected or appointed judicial position?)

Terry

Terry Brainerd Chadwick, InfoQuest! Information Services
mailto:tbchad@tbchad.com         http://www.tbchad.com
Making existing websites more productive.
Website Optimization for Accessibility, Content, Search & Usability
Received on Tuesday, 22 October 2002 15:38:07 GMT

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