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RE: Judgment in the SouthWest case.

From: Hy Cohen <hy@miplet.com>
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2002 09:11:20 -0700
To: "'Phill Jenkins'" <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000b01c27aae$d70b37d0$a8a8f5d1@hh2tg01>

While I'm not an attorney, my understanding of ADA  is "reasonable
accommodation" must be met.  For example, if I went into a Mom & Pop
grocery store, and they only had a couple of employees, they do not have
to assist me in the store. Now, if I went to a major department store,

Hy

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Phill Jenkins
Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2002 8:46 AM
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: RE: Judgment in the SouthWest case.




Jaz-Mixhael King wrote:
>accessible web sites are good business and good *for* business, but
>making it mandatory under US federal law is a ridiculous idea. if the
>US govt wants to make it mandatory under section 508 for govt.
>accessibility that's their concern, I for one would stand hard
>against making this a regulatory requirement for
>business. acceptable and accessible alternatives are
>all that's needed, and businesses that choose not to
>do so are losing money by not serving that section of
>the population, let that be their punishment.

Using that logic, it would unfairly seem that business (i.e.
restaurants) would be able to discriminate against individuals (i.e.,
blacks) and only suffer the "punishment" of lost business.  I think the
U.S. got past that in the 1960's.  I don't believe anyone likes
government telling them what they have to do, but there also has to be a
balance with individual rights and civilized society.

Although in principle it make sense that the ADA applies to the web, I
think there are other issues, or at least questions that need to be
answered before the ADA can be legally applied to the Web. For example:
1. If the business provides a telephone service for the same discounted
on-line tickets, does that allow them to not meet the web accessibility
standard? Is it about meeting a standard or about accommodation or both?
2. If the business is only on the web, and the web site meets the
standard, but the individual doesn't have a computer, or doesn't have
web access, or the computer is not capable of accessing that site - then
who's liable? 3. What's the definition of a "business" on the web?
Lemonade stands don't fall under the ADA, would a free ware software
site fall under the new provisions?  What about a free concert or sports
broadcast on the web? 4. Is it where the company is headquartered, or
where the server is located, or where the hosting company is? Where does
the ADA jurisdiction lie? 5. And which "web accessibility standard"
applies? Is it 508 or WCAG Priority 1 or WCAG 2.0, and which priorities?

It seems that all these civil rights discussions still end up pointing
to the fact that some technical standard is needed - so, back to
researching and develop ways to provide better access and standards.

Phill Jenkins
[my personal opinions]
Received on Wednesday, 23 October 2002 12:11:45 GMT

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