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Re: accessible banking:

From: Kelly Pierce <kpierce2000@earthlink.net>
Date: Tue, 1 Feb 2005 20:28:06 -0600
Message-ID: <003101c508ce$d4807240$0b0110ac@Kelly>
To: "John Foliot - WATS.ca" <foliot@wats.ca>, "'david poehlman'" <david.poehlman@handsontechnologeyes.com>, "'John Carpenter'" <John.Carpenter@pdms.com>, "'wai-ig list'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

From: "John Foliot - WATS.ca" <foliot@wats.ca>
To: "'Kelly Pierce'" <kpierce2000@earthlink.net>; "'david poehlman'" 
<david.poehlman@handsontechnologeyes.com>; "'John Carpenter'" 
<John.Carpenter@pdms.com>; "'wai-ig list'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Sent: Tuesday, February 01, 2005 8:37 AM
Subject: RE: accessible

Kelly Pierce wrote:
> **Not under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  As long as
> the means of
> communication made available to you is effective, I.e.
> allowing you to
> complete a certain task, then the bank has fulfilled its
> access obligations.

OK, but what if the means is ineffective, or presents an undue burden or
potential "security issue" as defined by the U.S. Homeland Security?

**John, you described the security issue well.  What do you mean by 
ineffective or undue burden?

[security announcement snipped]

This is not really an anti-IE comment on my part (OK, maybe it is <grin>),
but it's also a reality in 2005.  Never mind that any institution that
claims to be security conscious and yet relies on IE/Microsoft Security is..
Shall we say, poorly informed, it is, IMHO, just bad business to insist that
clients *only* use a given tool.  How would you react if the local gas
station would sell you gas, but only if you drove an American model car...

**Perhaps a better example is the local gas station not selling ethanol or 
alcohol-based fuels and instead only offering petroleum-based fuels. 
Arguably, if automotive technology and engines ran on alcohol-based fuels 
from plants and soy based products like the early Ford cars did about 100 
years ago instead of petroleum products and gasoline, the United States 
would be more secure and would have little interest in occupying Iraq and 
sending goon squads from the Pentagon and CIA into oil rich Iran and 
Venezuela as it is doing today.  While offering cross compatibility among an 
array of browsers may be good business and offer the nation more security as 
would be powering cars on alcohol-based fuels, it is a situation that 
applies to everyone, not specifically to people with disabilities.  hence, 
it is a societal based concern rather than a disability based one.  My 
nearest gas station doesn't sell ethanol, only two stations in Chicago do. 
My bank doesn't support anything but Internet Explorer, but since there is 
an accessible alternative, this isn't discrimination according to the law.

> Under the ADA, courts view access by functional performance,
> not by process.
> they also don't consider optimal or preferential means but
> the means that is
> sufficient to complete the specified task.

Right, and so the question then becomes, given the numerous documented
security issues attached to Internet Explorer, is the "tool" sufficient to
use to conduct "security related" tasks, such as e-banking?

**this is more a societal discussion rather than a disability one.  Millions 
of people are still using it daily to conduct billions of dollars of 
financial transactions.  Apparently, most are not that worried.

> You may choose not to use
> Internet Explorer, but in 2005 I have not seen an argument
> saying that it is
> unreasonable or insufficient to require people with
> disabilities only to use
> Internet Explorer to access online banking services.  It
> seems like you want
> access beyond what is required beyond that of the ADA.

I won't argue David's case, but I personally agree that Universal
Accessibility is the goal.  Some U.S. Banks might slide under the legal
requirement by being "accessible" to IE users, but I think everybody on this
list knows that *that response* is a wink and a nudge, and is mostly smoke
and mirrors.

**I agree.  I remember the days of Lynx and Netscape navigator when a good 
windows screen reader wasn't available.  many things were optimized for 
navigator and Jim Clark could care less about the problem.  I am 
uncomfortable at this time describing cross-compatibility of web sites as an 
access issue because we have an access solution now and the alternative 
means doesn't really create more independence than what IE provides.

Received on Wednesday, 2 February 2005 02:28:11 UTC

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