[thelist] Flash, usability, accessibility

Chris Kaminski chris at setmajer.com
Sat Jun 8 09:57:01 CDT 2002

Thus spake Daniel Fascia:

> Sure you need a qualification (many infact) to practice law but you sure dont
> need one to understand or interpret laws. A brain is sufficient I would have
> thought... Im surer there are US lawyers who are stupider than Martin who are
> in your eyes *qualified* to interpret Section 508!

Firstly, I don't know Martin from a bowl of tapioca pudding, and I expect he
knows me just as well. I'm asking for his background relevant to the topic
area (not, in this case, making accessible Web sites, but the application of
the ADA and Section 508 to privately-owned sites) that I might better weigh
his opinion.

Do *you* believe everything you read in an e-mail from an unknown source?
Somehow I doubt it.

In any event, simply having a brain and using it does /not/ enable one to
correctly predict the outcome of a given court case, especially a
hypothetical one where most of the facts are necessarily unknown.

With programming, you compile the code and run it. If it works, you were
correct. With Web design, you view it in the browser and have users test it.
If it works, you were right. With U.S. law, you must go to court.

When predicting the outcome of a case under Section 508 or the ADA, the
statutes themselves are not terribly meaningful in isolation. Their full
import can only be understood in the context of court decisions (controlling
precedent, various orders of persuasive precedent), regulatory rulings (an
entirely separate body of law), the remainder of the U.S. Code and
appropriate state and local laws.

Moreover, in the U.S. at least, legal language is loaded with terms of art
and constructs that have been parsed, argued, debated and dissected through
decades, even centuries, of legislation and litigation. They have very
precise meanings that aren't always obvious to a layperson.

In the case of Web design, Martin's CV, assuming it's accurate (and I have
no reason to believe he's dishonest so I'm discounting the possibility
unless I note something that indicates otherwise), demonstrates a fair body
of experience to draw from. His evaluations in that area carry corresponding

However, his site gives little indication that he has similar experience
predicting the decisions of U.S. judges and/or juries. I would like to know
what background he has that enables him to make judgments about U.S. law, as
others with more readily apparent backgrounds have made statements that
appear to contradict his.

chris.kaminski == ( design | code | analysis )

    God is in the TV
    ------------------------------------<< Marilyn Manson >>

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