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Re: target attribute of anchor tags

From: Thanasis Kinias <tkinias@optimalco.com>
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2002 15:29:56 -0700
To: Tim Luoma <luomat@peak.org>
Cc: www-validator@w3.org
Message-ID: <20020808222956.GA18736@optimalco.com>

[again, OT but feel free to e-mail me off-list]

scripsit Tim Luoma:
> 
> Thanasis Kinias wrote:
> 
> > If you are in the United States, you also have Federal civil rights
> > legislation (the Americans with Disabilities Act) to consider.
> 
> Has the ADA been amended to include the web?  URL please.
> 
> Last I knew there was Section 508 which only dealt with sites that 
> receive government funding.

ADA has been around a long time (1990).  USDOJ determined in 1996
that it applied to the Web [1].  This has been referenced repeatedly in
the legal literature, but IANAL and I don't have the full cites at hand.
If you're interested, you can get info from a disability law expert.

No amendment is necessary to make the ADA "include the Web" according to
USDOJ -- but it could, I suppose, be amended to _exclude_ the Web if
the Congress so chose.

> > Forcing the opening of new browser windows is disorienting and
> > confusing to blind users relying on screen readers, Braille displays,
> > and similar adaptive technology.  Using such a technique unecessarily
> > is illegally discriminatory against people with disabilities.
> 
> Who decides if the technique is 'necessary' or not?

If you get taken to court, I suppose it's the jury -- unless the lawyers
work out a consent decree or something ;)

Seriously, these things are not exactly black and white (unlike DTDs,
which are).  I can't personally conceive of a situation where it might
be necessary, but I threw in "unecessarily" because it's possible that
there might be some such situation which I'm unaware of.

> It may be confusing, it may be disorienting, and it may be a bad idea 
> for lots of reasons, but last I knew it wasn't "illegally 
> discriminatory."  I'll add that I would be happy to be wrong, but let's 
> not throw the law into this where it doesn't apply.

There are no regulations detailing the precise applicability of ADA to
the Web.  However, the ADA at 42 USC 12182 [2] is quite clear:

# No individual shall be discriminated against on the basis of
# disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services,
# facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of
# public accommodation by any person who owns, leases (or leases to), or
# operates a place of public accommodation.

(public accomodation, BTW, is defined in the previous section to include
pretty much any business entity, among other things)

You don't need a specific Web regulation to see how doing something
which unecessarily prevents people with a certain disability from
enjoying "full and equal enjoyment" of a service would violate this.

References

1. <http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/foia/tal712.txt>
2. <http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/42/12182.html>

-- 
Thanasis Kinias
Web Developer, Information Technology
Graduate Student, Department of History
Arizona State University
Tempe, Arizona, U.S.A.

Ash nazg durbatulūk, ash nazg gimbatul,
Ash nazg thrakatulūk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul
Received on Thursday, 8 August 2002 18:30:01 GMT

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