Amy Alkon discusses why the notion of expanding the Americans with Disabilities Act to cover the internet would be a terrible idea:
So few people understand how laws passed can be used — and easily misused. Stretched into something they were never supposed to be (or not what they were said to be about, anyway).
For example, Title IX was supposed to be about allowing girls equal participation in school sports. The Obama admin has turned it into a system of campus kangaroos courts removing due process from men accused of sexual assault.
Next in line for strrretching is the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Bader gives some examples from Walter Olson, from his testimony to Congress, of awful changes that would ensue, like that amateur publishing would become “more of a legal hazard.” They’d go after websites like mine, that make a few shekels from Amazon links and a few more from Google ads. I need this money to supplement the money that’s fallen out of newspaper writing; also, I love the people who comment here and the discussion that goes on. It’s what keeps my eyes pried open at 11 p.m. when I need to post a blog item half an hour after I should have gone to bed for my 5 a.m. book- and column-writing wakeup time.
Also, added in the morning, after waking up worrying about this all night — making something “accessible” for a tiny minority could ruin it for everyone.
And what sort of understanding do we really owe people? I don’t do well with complex physics and I have limited attention for things I don’t understand that don’t grab my interest enough to figure them out. Should physics websites dumb themselves down for Amy Alkon’s brain? How many scientific websites will be brought down by disabled people going around to them like the quadriplegic lawyer in the wheelchair filing profit-making suits and closing classic hamburger stands and other businesses in California over ADA claims?