My former colleague Jim Rapoza, lab director at eWeek, has joined the chorus of those who are tarring and feathering the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for making Internet Explorer a requirement in order for natural disaster victims (eg: Katrina vicitims) to apply online for assistance. Writes Rapoza:
I looked at the online application on the FEMA Web site, and it is a very simple form—applicants are presented with standard fields asking for basic identifying information. There is nothing radical, dynamic or groundbreaking about this application....There is certainly no reason it couldn't have been written to work in any Web browser....Did anyone even realize that this form may very well be a violation of Section 508, the accessibility law that applies to federal agencies?
In a post-mortem analysis of this particular FEMA debacle (there were obviously others), I asked if more public agencies shouldn't heed Massachusetts' OpenDoc policy.
Meanwhile, You go Jim. You go.