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  1. #26
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    True but the problem with legal definitions of disability are that they discriminate (ironically), I never use legislative definitions of the word disability to determine who may require assistance when accessing websites I produce, mainly because such legislation was created before the digital revolution when problems accessing stores were generally down to physically apparent issues. My definition of disability is exactly that "dis-ability" as in the lack of ability to take advantage of a public service, whether it's a commercial entity or something else. It's a well known fact that the law in general discriminates heavily against people suffering psychological issues, and mental health on the web is an issue I think more people should take notice of, it's certainly a wide range of disorders that go beyond "information processing".

    Alas I don't make the laws or have any say in the matter but making the law include anyone who suffers a reasonable and visible loss of access or inhibition to access the information or services would be a much more appropriate way of wording it, that way the courts could decide if such a discrimination had occurred upon that individual and if it could have been avoided. I'm sorry to say it but when it comes to accessibility, most people are happy to say "sorry, you don't qualify as disabled" - partially due to disabled people being able to claim money from the government (in the UK), but in regards to technology these "worse case scenario" definitions are non-sympathetic to the very audience we should cater to. As such I think that while discriminating against the disabled should be illegal, the laws should be better defined to qualify that description to a much broader level of people, even if it's only in regards to the right to access those services. If the W3C wanted to pay me, I would happily to draft up a new web accessibility spec which accounts for a wider range of factors, but alas that is unlikely to happen any-time soon.

  2. #27
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    Sorry, Alex; seeing as how I have to comply with U.S. law, I have to be familiar with its definitions. And for purposes of the accessibility of electronic information, the definition of disability was updated after WCAG 1.0, so it does consider the technologies and realities of today.

    And, no, it isn't reasonable to say that less than profound impairment should also be accommodated. But the neat thing is, as it is working here, when we apply the principles of universal design, we actually do end up with content that is accessible to virtually everyone. And if anyone needs that content but finds it not to be accessible to them, we generally can accommodate them if they bring the issue to our attention.

    That's the reality of my world. I can't afford to live in an ivory tower, but I do OK where I am.

  3. #28
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    I understand why you have to comply with US Law and I'm not saying you shouldn't, I was just making a note (backing up the universal design principle) for anyone else reading this thread that it's important in accessibility to go above and beyond what a law or a standard sets as a baseline.

  4. #29
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Sorry, Alex; seeing as how I have to comply with U.S. law, I have to be familiar with its definitions.
    Man, that actually sucks in some instances.

    I ran a page through Cynthia Says just to check the service out. It'll go through like each line of section 508...one of them is, if you have any script tags in the body, you must include a noscript tag.

    If you write your JS properly and unobtrusively, then a noscript tag is only there to confuse the scriptless who don't see why it's there (because your script is introduced purely for the benefit of the scripted and does not affect or is not required by the non-scripted content). Or, worse, if you really did write in such a way that you need a noscript tag, those running NoScript and those who have a scripts-enabled browser that gets scripts blocked elsewhere (by a firewall for example) also don't see it. So you can't even guarantee it either way. (why I would always keep all my unobtrusive scripts external... handily gets around the rule)

    I remember checking out michigan.gov, and finding 9px sized text and strange alt text and other design flaws. But, it "passed section 508". What a crock. What did they do, religiously follow all the requirements without looking once at the whole point??? I was sorely disappointed. Currently, JS is required to use some of the menus or something.

    What I like about WCAG2 is that it has these scenarios and the goal is, you pass the scenarios. It does not say "use technology x".

    The above ranting aside, I'm generally in favour of laws, simply because it's sometime the only stick you can use to get sites moving to accessibility. Well, and software too. You'd hope carrots would be good enough, but they are not.


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