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RE: accessible banking:

From: John Foliot - WATS.ca <foliot@wats.ca>
Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2005 09:48:38 -0500
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>
Message-ID: <005001c50936$49b91f00$6601a8c0@bosshog>

Kelly Pierce wrote:
> **Perhaps a better example is the local gas station not
> selling ethanol or
> alcohol-based fuels and instead only offering petroleum-based fuels.

Sorry Kelly, that's not the same thing.  Some financial institutions offer
the Visa Credit Card, others MasterCard, and perhaps others both, neither or
something else (Discover Card?).  Don't confuse product offerings with
client service.  I may not be able to get a Visa card at one institution,
but then I get to choose to either a) live with it and get MasterCard
instead, or b) switch banks.  But the institution *does* offer - to every
client - the ability to apply for a credit card.

However, if I went to the bank and was told that only brown eyed clients
could get a Visa card, that blue eyed clients needed to get colored contact
lenses to apply...

> My
> nearest gas station doesn't sell ethanol, only two stations
> in Chicago do.

Right, but again as long as those 2 stations sell ethanol products to all
drivers - not just those that drive American model cars...

> My bank doesn't support anything but Internet Explorer, but
> since there is
> an accessible alternative, 

What is the alternative?  To me, to continue to bank with that institution
you *MUST* have Internet Explorer installed if you want to do on-line
banking.  What is the alternative?  Don't do on-line banking?  That's

> this isn't discrimination
> according to the law.

> **this is more a societal discussion rather than a disability
> one. 

Exactly.  The biggest issue is those institutions which think that as long
as they meet the "technical" requirements, their obligations end there.
They see it as an "obligation", as opposed to the "right thing to do". The
purpose of this type of legislation is to try and mold society to one which
is more inclusive, less discriminatory - fairer.

To me, the bottom line is this:  nobody has conclusively proven why the
institution *cannot* make their site accessible to other browsers. I know my
bank's  on-line banking site "works" in other browsers, so there is existing
proof that it *can* be done...  I suspect that if ever it went before the
courts, a strong case could be made against the bank in question.

John Foliot  foliot@wats.ca
Web Accessibility Specialist / Co-founder of WATS.ca
Web Accessibility Testing and Services
http://www.wats.ca   1.866.932.4878 (North America) 
Received on Wednesday, 2 February 2005 14:48:54 UTC

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