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Re: lynx-dev User Agent

From: Kim DeVaughn
Subject: Re: lynx-dev User Agent
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 1999 02:27:10 -0600

On Thu, Aug 26, 1999, David Woolley (address@hidden) said:
| > mailing list) would be that excluding non-graphical browsers in the
| > first place may be a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act,
| > since it denies access to blind users using Lynx with a screen reader.

| Actually I'm confused about this Act, because I've also read that the
| US government is going to require government contractors to provide
| accessible web sites, which tends to imply that there is no legal
| requirement on non-government contractors and the government has to
| use commercial, not legal, pressures to get compliance.

That is correct (for now, anyway) ... it (making web-sites blind/etc
accessable) is not legally required (ie, there has been no legislation
passed requiring this [yet]).

This is being mandated by the Administration, and is only applicable
if a company wishes to do business with the Federal Government (which
includes folks who want to sell radishes to Uncle Sam, as well as the
people selling F-22's and Tomahawk's).

This kind of of action isn't new ... some of our anti-discrimination
requirements are "enforced" by relying on the same criteron ... "you
want to do business with the Government, you play by our rules".  For
those requirements, there is even a watchdog ... the OFCCP (Office of
Federal Contract Compliance Program).

In other contexts, this is usually called "blackmail".

It will be interesting to watch how vigorously the Fed's pursue this,
how many "exceptions" are granted, and for what reasons, and how many
compliance extensions are granted.

In any case, I fully expect Congress to get into the act, and legislate
some actual legal ammendments to the ADA ... next year being an election
year, and all ...


"Where there is a multitude of specific laws, it is a sign that
 the State is badly governed."  --Isocrates

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