Hurricane relief only in Windows/IE

In continuation of my last post I thought I would point out a great example of a Federal website that is not accessible to all web surfers. Supposedly the United States has strict regulations for the accessibility of publicly funded websites, yet apparently those regulations do not concern the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Not only does the individual assistance registration page require JavaScript to work, but it will also only work in the almighty Internet Explorer browser for Windows. Effectively saying that if you do not own Microsoft Windows and IE, you can not sign up for Federal Assistance.

When attempting to sign up for registration in Firefox or other Mozilla-based browsers, users must pass a test, and then after doing so receive this message:

In order to use this site, you must have JavaScript Enabled and Internet Explorer version 6.
Download it from Microsoft or call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) to register.

Now I know this is not a life or death situation. If someone really needed assistance they could just call the number, or show up in person. The fact remains that if the web site was built using modern standards, there would never be this problem to begin with. The time that was spent to construct that error message could have just as easily been spent on coding the web site correctly.

The Tsunami is another great example of this same problem, however this time we all were affected and not just those seeking aid. In the following months, anyone trying to donate money to the relief fund in a browser other than IE received a very similar message. You would think with a cause as important as trying to collect donations they would properly set up their website to accept money from anyone.


  1. Graz21982 Says...

    September 17, 2005 at 12:32 am

    These people don’t have homes let alone computers. Lets worry about first things first.

  2. Chuck Says...

    September 28, 2005 at 5:34 pm

    Who said they are trying to access the website from their homes? These people have been displaced, and are trying to access the website from their friends and families homes. Maybe they are trying to access from a library or school computer?