[thelist] Flash, usability, accessibility

Martin Burns martin at easyweb.co.uk
Fri Jun 7 21:51:01 CDT 2002

On Saturday, June 8, 2002, at 03:31  am, Erik Mattheis wrote:

> At 1:11 AM +0100 6/8/02, Martin Burns wrote:
>> On Saturday, June 8, 2002, at 12:33  am, John Corry wrote:
>> Which hardly supports trolls like:
>>>>  > There are people with no interest in Flash that will jump in
>>>> telling
>>>>  you you'll be sued if you use Flash, but they can be ignored.
> Martin, I was not trolling. I love evolt and take it way seriously
> when a member has the impression that certain aspects of web design
> cannot be discussed. Sorry that I laughed instead of cried, and
> sorrier that your ASCII trollometer was funnier than my sarcasm!

Humour intended.

>> That troll didn't really go a long way towards:
>> <quote src="evolt.org site footer">promoting the mutual free
>> exchange of ideas, skills and experiences. </quote>
>> particularly when those experiences include a knowledge of the
>> applicable law which Erik clearly doesn't have.
> It's not that I don't have knowledge that you do ... it's that you
> interpret existing laws as applying to _all_ websites and I interpret
> them as only speaking to government websites ... and at this very
> moment I'm still defending my interpretation.

Erik - here's the 30,000 foot view.

There are 2 US acts.
1) ADA - this establishes the principle that all services to the public
(including those offered by private enterprises) have to be accessible
to Americans with Disabilities. It also applies to a great many
employers in their relationships with their employees. ADA applies to
websites - this is clearly the DOJ view and has been established in a
number of cases. I posted a few citations in a response to Tom the other

2) Section 508 - this says "For government-provided services, this is
what you need to do to fulfil ADA - do this and you are accessible"
(Personally, I'm not sure it's useful to have such a binary approach -
the WAI prioritisation is much more useful)

Now if you can fulfil ADA without refering to 508, then fine. However,
what are you going to do to be accessible? Pretty much all the things
you'd do are those mentioned in 508. Maybe you'd do more, maybe you'd do
a bit less, but you'll end up with something pretty similary to 508. Or
WAI, which 508 is based on.

In any case, let's pretend for a moment that you've been approached by
the DOJ, or an organisation, or a private individual, who is accusing
you of being non-accessible to a particular disability.

What's your best defence? Being accessible.
How do you prove it? "Here's how we meet these independent standards of
Which standard is going to give you your strongest argument in the US?
The one that the DOJ already agrees provides sufficient accessibility.
WAI would be the next one.

> Privately funded websites are currently under no obligation to make
> their content available to all devices ... a screen reader, NN 1, a
> computer without a mouse or keyboard, browser without Flash, whatever

It's not about availability to devices - that's merely the mechanism.
It's about being accessible to the people who use these devices because
their disability does not permit any other.

> .I'm certainly willing to reverse my evaluation ... someone send me
> the link I didn't find!

Did you actually read the ADA?

email: martin at easyweb.co.uk             PGP ID:	0xA835CCCB
	martin at members.evolt.org      snailmail:	30 Shandon Place
   tel:	+44 (0)774 063 9985				Edinburgh,
   url:	http://www.easyweb.co.uk			Scotland

More information about the thelist mailing list