[thelist] Flash, usability, accessibility

Chris Kaminski chris at setmajer.com
Mon Jun 10 13:46:01 CDT 2002

Thus spake Rebecca Milot-Bradford:

> Do you recognize that the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 requires
> that all public facilities be accessible, as well as goods and services
> provided by both the government and private companies?

Note also, though, that courts have held that while goods and services must
be accessible, the /content/ of those goods and services isn't covered. A
bookstore, for example, cannot be forced to carry braille books.

So, as an example, while a gaming site might be covered, the games on the
site might not be.

There is also a precedent for allowing alternative modes of access. So a
catalogue company's e-commerce store might not be covered because the
disabled person(s) could use their phone ordering system or some such.

> And according to the US Justice Department, in an opinion letter dated
> September 9, 1996, "Covered entities under the ADA are required to provide
> effective communication, regardless of whether they generally communicate
> through print media, audio media, or computerized media such as the Internet.
> Covered entities that use the Internet for communications regarding their
> programs, goods, or services must be prepared to offer those communications
> through accessible means as well."
> What leads you to believe that this does NOT apply to web sites?

It's a DOJ opinion letter, not regulatory, statutory or common law. In
principal, at least, it has no more weight than a similar opinion letter
written by the ambulance chasers at Dewey, Cheetham & Howe.

I agree it gives one an idea of how the DOJ intends to enforce the law, but
they sure haven't done much in that respect to date. Ashcroft seems far more
interested in covering bare breasts on statues.

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

    Common sense isn't.
    ------------------------------------------<< Voltaire >>

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