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RE: accessible banking:

From: John Foliot - WATS.ca <foliot@wats.ca>
Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2005 09:12:41 -0500
To: "'Kelly Pierce'" <kpierce2000@earthlink.net>, "'wai-ig list'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <003b01c509fa$6db9bc10$6601a8c0@bosshog>

Kelly Pierce wrote:
> **John, I believe we are talking about American courts 
> interpreting the ADA 
> not Canadian ones.  

Red herring. I may be Canadian, but this topic, to an extent, transcends
geographical boundaries.  Please stick to the topic <grin>. (Besides, we
*all* need to understand and be informed on "web accessibility and the law"
- I'm sure I'm not the only one who is asked about this topic on a regular
basis.)

<snip>

> the person's "choice" is 
> only relevant 
> when the provided communication is not effective, such as providing a 
> Braille document to a person who doesn't read Braille and 
> wants information 
> in an audio recording.
> 

Fair enough.  Using this argument, I counter with the fact that a US Federal
Agency has warned that a particular piece of software is not secure -
in-effective as it were - and recommend using an alternative.  Is this not
relevant?  The website in question is giving me "Internet Explorer
exclusive" web services, and my browser doesn't "read" Internet Explorer
material (figuratively speaking).  So, as a consumer with equal rights, I
would want my services material in a format that I use (Firefox services
material). (Is this not the same as me not reading Braille, and wanting an
audio recording?)

Kelly, your reply has also conveniently side-stepped my argument and analogy
of automobiles and gasoline.  The local [pick your merchant] gas bar
provides gasoline to consumers.  By law, they cannot discriminate by selling
their product to only one particular sub-set of consumers (American
automobiles); they must, by law, sell their gasoline to all owners of
automobiles.  Period.  If your automobile uses only "foobar fuel", and that
merchant does not sell "foobar fuel", well, no harm, no foul... They don't
sell it to *any* consumer.  But at the end of the day, if they did sell
"foobar fuel", and an automobile arrived at the station to purchase "foobar
fuel", they could not turn it away: the car burns "foobar fuel".

A bank provides on-line services.  I have a perfectly capable, modern (some
would say State-of-the-Art), standards compliant browser which I wish to use
to interact with the internet.  The bank in question does not provide
"Internet Explorer" banking, but on-line banking.  By refusing to service my
browser, they are discriminating against me.

Regardless of the geographic region, it has been conclusively proven that
e-commerce/e-banking can be safely and securely [1] conducted in *any
browser* that supports a minimum feature set (i.e. SSL).  That a particular
bank insists that only *one* particular piece of software be used when it
can be shown that any number of alternatives provide, (under normal
circumstances and in similar scenarios) equivalent functionality is at it's
base (and I will state, In My Humble Opinion) discriminatory.

I come back to my original question.  Can the bank, (or anybody on this
list) demonstrate conclusively why the institution *cannot* make their site
accessible to other browsers?  It would seem to me that the burden of proof
rests with the bank, not the complainant (but I'm no lawyer...)

JF

[1] Ya, ya... A whole other debate...
Received on Thursday, 3 February 2005 14:12:48 GMT

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