discrimination

Lee Braiden lee_b at digitalunleashed.com
Wed Jul 13 23:05:27 UTC 2005


On Wednesday 13 July 2005 20:21, Norman Silverstone wrote:
> I had the need to register a piece of domestic equipment and tried to
> use the offered web site only to find that it would not work correctly
> for me. There was a warning saying that the combination of browser and
> OS that I was using could prevent certain parts of the site not working
> correctly and they were right. A further message read:- 'This site is
> best viewed with the latest version of Internet Explorer'.
>
> I sent them an email protesting at this discrimination and I would like
> to hear if anyone else has come across sites with anything like this.

Of course; there are many such sites.  Our government makes them too.  
However, the discrimination runs deeper than you probably realise.  For 
instance, by making a website that only works with IE, they are 
discriminating against blind users who might use special browsers that read 
aloud to them.  If you really want to affect change on this sort of thing, 
I'd suggest proceeding in this sort of order:

* On the first attempt, rather than attacking them, just inform them that you 
are unable to use the site, and perhaps that you're concerned that the site 
is inaccessible to blind users, etc., too.  A decent, non-lazy organisation, 
should be shocked to discover this, and at least plan to eventually correct 
it.

* If they write back, you might supply them pointers to w3c.org, where they 
can find standards for compatible (X)HTML and CSS, along with the relevant 
WCAG standards etc., for disabled users.  You can just mention that, if 
they're hiring a company to repair the site, they might want to ensure that 
the company's work complies with those standards.

* If they fail to show any interest, you might then track down your (or their) 
country's legislation which enforces accessible websites.  At least the US 
and UK have such standards; probably all of Europe and Australia too, if not 
most countries.

* If that fails, well... you have the usual routes of petitions, press, legal 
action, etc.

-- 
Lee Braiden
http://www.DigitalUnleashed.com
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