The internet for the stupid

Interesting idea coming out of the US. Websites are \”public accomodations\” which come under the Americans With Disabilities Act.

So you\’ve got to provide wheelchair access just like a restaurant or movie theater.

Then it gets fun:

Can websites be forced to change to accommodate the disabled — by using “simpler language” to appeal to the “intellectually disabled,” or by making them accessible to the blind and deaf at considerable expense?

Generally, the First Amendment gives you the right to choose who to talk to and how, without government interference. There is no obligation to make your message accessible to the whole world, and the government can’t force you to make your speech accessible to everyone, much less appealing to them. The government couldn’t require you to give speeches in English rather than Spanish …

But now, the Obama administration appears to be planning to use the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to force many web sites to either accommodate the disabled, or shut down.

Intellectually disabled is the current euphemism for \”stupid\”*.

Daily Kos will be fine of course but what about everyone else?

*Yes, it is. Misinformed, ill-educated, ignorant, these are not the same thing as stupid. Having a low IQ is, which is indeed a subset of \”intellectually disabled\”.

6 thoughts on “The internet for the stupid”

  1. In the UK, all websites have to be accessible to the impaired. By law. Already.

    Usually, though, this just requires building the site in a competent, standards-compliant, SEO-friendly way so that screen-readers can navigate around it. It’s not hard, the minimal extra cost of doing things ‘right’ instead of ‘fast’ is easily repaid in a more SE-friendly site.

  2. Pretty sure this already happens in other ‘public’ publications. Someone sent me – wish I could find it – a guide to making a complaint about doctors that had been written for the intellectually impaired. It was basically a series of cartoons representing ways in which you might have been mistreated, together with one-syllable word explanations.

    All very laudable, really, as I daresay the intellectually impaired are more at risk of mistreatment than other groups, but that didn’t stop some of the cartoons being unintentionally hilarious.

  3. Offshore Observer

    Tim,

    The comment re “stupid” is highly perjoritive. I think what you meant to say is that intellectual impariment is a euphemism for people that used to be called “morons” (that is mental age between 8 and 12). Personally I am a selective moron, because I often find myself laughing along with my 8 year old at stupid jokes.

  4. There’s already an internet for the stupid. In Web 1.0, it was Geocities and AOL. In 2.0, MySpace and Facebook.

    For 3.0, it will be fashion victims blundering about in Google bins.

  5. Pingback: Coming soon to a web browser near you: Internet for the intellectually disabled | motorcitytimes.com

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