It to access the Internet at his

is essential to recognize the time at which the American’s with
Disabilities Act was established. Due to the creation of this act in 1990,
there was no explicit reference to the extent of website accessibility because,
the Internet was only emerging at this point. Over a fairly short period of
time, it was clear to see that websites started to play an increasingly more
important role in communication, social, and business atmospheres. For
agencies, websites allowed interactivity, convenience, and speed of service.
However, this did not hold true for the disabled community where for instance, blind
members of society could not understand what a certain online picture was
about, even with additional technology assisting them, such as screen readers.  This lead to several lawsuits, from people who
argued that these sites did not provide equal access and therefore,
discriminated against disabled people. I am at the stance, which argues that laws
should be enacted, so that government and business websites follow standards,
which make their sites accessible to a wide range of users, who may rely on
their services.


Since the ADA
(Americans with Disabilities Act) is analogous to a Civil rights law, one could
determine that there are fundamentally negative rights involved. In other
words, everyone has the ability to access the Internet at his or her own liberty.
However, in some cases, positive rights must be applied when the Internet
becomes inaccessible to some users, in this instance, people with disabilities.
When a website is created without taking into consideration the span of their
audience, it becomes a problem. The ADA forces one to comply with and, in many
cases, to reformat a website according to a set of standards. Critics argue
that the reconstruction of a website can be expensive for companies to
implement. However, a simple implementation of subtext next to a picture significantly
helps one, who is blind, to understand a picture. Additionally, business and
the government must routinely update and reformat their websites on a regular
basis, in order to be concurrent with new technology and software that is being
used. Furthermore, at a minimum websites are already obligated to meet the
Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility standards. To take into
consideration the needs of one with disabilities while reformatting a website is
an instance where expense does not present a major obstacle for which services can
choose not to comply with standards.

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It is apparent
that there are many easy fixes in creating a website more user friendly for
all.  For example, clearly identifying
what a link is supposed to do, instead of a 
“click here” button.  Also, as of
March 28th 2014, the Department of Justice increased the penalties
for the Violation of the ADA to a maximum first offense of  $75,000 and a secondary offense of up to
$150,000. Clearly, it is better to follow guidelines in the creation and
modification of websites. Also critics, who say that the ADA has established
law without standards or regulations, are mistaken. The U.S. Department of
Labor and several other federal agencies including, the U.S Department of
Justice, and the Federal Communications Commission, have a role in enforcing
ADA. Also, the ADA has published a list of comprehensive standards that can be
easily found online since June of 2003.  Those who


To conclude, I am
at the stance that business and government websites should strive, to the best
of their ability, to provide full access to disabled people. There will
certainly be no “exact” equivalent as to how a disabled person may interact
with a website’s services versus a non-disabled person. To take a more general view,
there are difficulties even a non-disabled person may encounter while using a
website. However, if a set of alternatives can be found for these customers,
then this will greatly reduce customer dissatisfaction and thus, law suits. It
was a reported, through the U.S consensus bureau that approximately 1 out of 5
people in the U.S have a disability. When put into this perspective, it is
clearly in the service’s best financial interest and profit to appeal to this
particular group of people, who compose a large chuck of society.