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Is Blind Inaccessability Discrimination?

Discussion in 'HTML & Website Design' started by mdvaldosta, Mar 15, 2006.

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Is website inaccessablity to the blind discrimination?

  1. Yes, it's discrimination

    10 vote(s)
    23.3%
  2. No it's not

    27 vote(s)
    62.8%
  3. I'm not sure

    6 vote(s)
    14.0%
  1. the_pm

    the_pm Peon

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    #21
    I haven't expressed an opinion on this one way or another, and frankly, I think it depends on the nature of the site.

    The only assertion I've made is that choosing not to be accessible is choosing to discriminate. Whether it is a legal issue or not is a different question.
    SEMrush
     
    the_pm, Mar 15, 2006 IP
    SEMrush
  2. ideas_man

    ideas_man Active Member

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    #22
    The internet is supposed to be a medium of expression.Being legally forced to conform to a set of design rules would shatter that. Sure, it is great if a designer wants to optimize their site to reach the largest audience.... but its certainly not "wrong" if their chosen design is not accessible to everyone. It is up to them. Who are we to tell people who their website should be accessible to?

    Besides you can't call this descrimination.It is not a conscious decision to isolate blind people. There just isn't a conscious effort to include them.

    I admit, that this probably is annoying for blind people who want to use the net... but then, it is annoying for anyone using a browser that the site isn't designed for. I don't like the fact that people should be forced to cater for a certain demographic.
     
    ideas_man, Mar 15, 2006 IP
  3. dkalweit

    dkalweit Well-Known Member

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    #23
    Many businesses have lost the fight using the same arguments-- they should be able to choose who to serve and who not to serve. They shouldn't be forced to accomodate wheelchairs, etc. As common sense as that is, many people would rather force businesses to spend large sums of money to make their businesses accessible to anyone, even if the business doesn't want them in there... Some kind of freedom we have here...


    --
    Derek
     
    dkalweit, Mar 15, 2006 IP
  4. kk5st

    kk5st Prominent Member

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    #24
    How hard is this to understand? It's not about the law, though it's a factor, it's about doing the right thing. Unlike physical plants, there is little or no incremental cost to make sure your website is accessible to all UAs. And, if you don't grok what's meant by all UAs, you don't understand the web.

    So your site's all about visual stuff, huh? Say maybe your latest Flash animations? OK, the blind guy likely isn't interested, anyway. But the site needs to be accessible enough so that he knows what it's all about. He may be there by accident; help him out a bit. What about the lady who just loves Flash animations, but can't operate a mouse or maybe can't hit a small target with one? (that's motility impairment—it's a handicap) If you have Flash navigation, she's SOL on the keyboard and maybe has problems because she needs to enlarge the links (not always doable). It's sure not doable if you used images w/o alt text in place of text.

    Did you use a reddish text against a greenish background with a low luminosity Δ? It's not the color-blind guys fault he can't read it. It's yours, because you're too non-caring to make accessibility friendly design decisions. You can still have the color scheme, you just need to separate those colors.

    It doesn't cost a nickel to be accessible from the get-go. It can cost a young fortune to go back and fix what shouldn't have been broken in the first place.

    Web accessibility is the law in G.B, Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It will be the law in the U.S.. Get over it and get with the program.

    gary
     
    kk5st, Mar 15, 2006 IP
    the_pm likes this.
  5. dkalweit

    dkalweit Well-Known Member

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    #25
    Learning what works and doesn't work for these user agents costs an incredible amount of time and therefore money.


    Hopefully we can do our best in the US to resist such fascist laws that force our creative works to cater to the squeeky wheels of the world.

    Being free includes letting others be free, and those that want to force "accessibility" on the rest of us are taking away our freedoms.


    --
    Derek
     
    dkalweit, Mar 15, 2006 IP
  6. mdvaldosta

    mdvaldosta Peon

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    #26
    Ok, how about this... what if IE users sued many CSS designers because the website their trying to view doesn't display properly? Aren't you discriminating against IE users? Or when you go to Wal-mart and they don't sell wheelchairs because theirs not a big enough market for them? Are they discriminating too? What about a restaurant that doesn't sell cornbread, are they discriminating against blacks?

    No company is forced to have a website, therefore they shouldn't be forced to make a website accessable to anyone. While it's good business practice, nobody should be made to do anything. If you choose not to sell 12" dildo's because you don't think theirs profit in it, then that's your choice for your business. Your not discriminating against people that like sex. Where do you draw the line?
     
    mdvaldosta, Mar 15, 2006 IP
  7. Perrow

    Perrow Well-Known Member

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    #27
    Blind people being able to access Targets site is not discrimination, that's bad bussiness. Blind people not being able to access government sites and webservices, now that's discrimination.
     
    Perrow, Mar 15, 2006 IP
  8. ViciousSummer

    ViciousSummer Ayn Rand for President! Staff

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    #28
    "Doing the right thing" for one person (or group of persons) will not be the right thing for another.

    Trying to tell the millions of webmasters in the world that they have to build their websites a certain way, just in case a blind person might happen upon it, is down right stupid. If a blind persons screen reader can't read a website, then they need to come up with a better technology that can. Search engine spiders are constantly evolving to come up with better ways to "read" content of websites and they are blind as well. There is no reason why screen readers can't follow suit.
     
    ViciousSummer, Mar 15, 2006 IP
  9. ideas_man

    ideas_man Active Member

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    #29
    kk5st, who are you to tell us what is right? Why should you force people to design their site differently? You make it sound like everyone has a right to access our websites, well what about the designer's rights?

    I think the root of this is that people bend over backwards for anyone who complains loud enough. If a minority group shout loud enough, a government will roll over and pass a law to quiet them. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against those are differently abled to myself.... but I will never see why their impairments give them the rights to deny me mine.

    I agree with you dkalweit and I hope these stupid laws never manifest over there in the US.
     
    ideas_man, Mar 15, 2006 IP
  10. the_pm

    the_pm Peon

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    #30
    There's something to be said for learning things right the first time. But even if you don't, investing the time into unlearning bad habits and learning things right pales in comparison to undoing many sites' worth of mistakes later, particularly if this does become a legal issue!

    The issue with Target was that there was nothing on the site to read. You can make the world's best screen reader, but if you don't give it something to read, no amount of technological breakthrough can fix the deficiencies Web masters allows through negligence. Search engine spiders have the same difficulties, any SEO specialist will confirm this.

    Discrimination through proactive measures v. discrimination through negligence all ends in the same result.
     
    the_pm, Mar 15, 2006 IP
  11. mdvaldosta

    mdvaldosta Peon

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    #31
    Why does IWDN use tables?
     
    mdvaldosta, Mar 15, 2006 IP
  12. kk5st

    kk5st Prominent Member

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    #32
    We work in a field with constantly changing technology. Keeping up with our technologies is just a part of doing business or we become redundant. Didn't you have to spend time with javascript, PHP, learning the basics of Apache admin, or just learning and trying new things in html and css? Accessibility is just one more issue to be kept up with. The incremental cost of ensuring accessibility is diddley-squat. Only if you don't know what you're doing is it expensive.

    If you don't recognize what's right or wrong about how to deal with visitors to your website or business, that's your own ethical dilemma. My viewpoint, which is all mine and you're quite free not to accept it, is that visitors to my house should be treated with courtesy and respect. It's called good manners, or politeness. To the best of my abilities as a web developer, I will try to make them feel welcome and remove all the barriers I can. You are free to act the uncivilized heathen if you feel having good manners is too much an imposition.

    Search spiders don't have to make sense of a page, they only need read and index. You're saying that a screen reader should make sense of the page? MIT's AI labs don't have a machine that can pass a Turing test, and you want a screen reader to re-assemble your funky structure into something sensible?

    Using a table for layout breaks the structure of the document and forces the use of non-semantic tags. Using html to semantically mark up a well structured document without regard for presentation, or for the UA used to render it, works on all html cognizant UAs. It is UA agnostic. Adding presentation in a separate layer allows the UA to use or not the styles without breaking the document. This is a highly accessible page without effort on the author's part. Get it? All you have to do is use html correctly and write your style rules. It's easier to do it in a cross UA friendly and accessible manner than it is to do table layouts. Believe me. I've done both and have no intention of ever building another table based page. I kicked the habit a little over three years ago, and I am not going back.

    [edit] the_pm: You were posting while i was, um, whatever. You may have said it better than I did. [/edit]

    gary

    n.b. Authors of the quoted material are not named, to avoid their further embarassment. --g
     
    kk5st, Mar 15, 2006 IP
  13. the_pm

    the_pm Peon

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    #33
    For two reasons.

    1. There is a very good case to be made that the information within an online community is tabular in nature. It requires headings and position in-and-amongst other data in order for its context to be revelent. This means tables are the right tool for the job, and therefore the best agent for accessibility when it comes to the type of information being served by IWDN.

    2. Like I said, the frist point is debatable, and we are in the process privately of putting together a semantically valid version of vBulletin for open discussion and use. Once we've created this, we'll make this an option for our users, so if the site works better for them without tables, they can switch and permanently use IWDN in this manner.

    What does the construction of IWDN have to do with the original question? Heck, I've created sites in the past that are not as friendly for people with disabilities as they could be. I know this, and every time I create a new site now, I am as mindful as I can be about it. This doesn't make the truth any less of the truth. If I was a smoker, would it be any less true if I was the one who told you smoking was bad for you?
     
    the_pm, Mar 15, 2006 IP
  14. ideas_man

    ideas_man Active Member

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    #34
    That is fine if that is what you choose to do. I doesn't make it "right" though, it just makes it your decision and it doesn't make the rest of us uncivilized if we choose not to follow you.

    There is no sense in making the majority fall in line with the minority.Common sense would say that those few who have different requirements, should improve what they have available to them. Which means, as others have said... change screen readers, not our websites.
     
    ideas_man, Mar 15, 2006 IP
  15. Triumph

    Triumph Guest

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    #35
    Even if it isn't discrimination it is alienation. Alienating any class of user is stupid for any site unless you are just making it for yourself and then you don't have to upload it to your server.

    Perhaps, but accessibility is transparent to those that don't need or use it. In other words it doesn't hurt those that have no use for it. On the other hand not "doing the right thing" hurts those that need it even though those that don't are oblivious to that.

    Screen readers can not read text replaced by an image like this:
    [​IMG] adding alt text is a rule of accessibilty.

    Pfft. Stupid screen readers.:p
     
    Triumph, Mar 15, 2006 IP
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  16. Triumph

    Triumph Guest

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    #36
    Here in America you are free to be offensive. You are free to be inaccessible. You are free to not cater to the needs of everyone.

    You are also free to go broke when people stop using your business sites and when people stop hiring you for not sticking to industry standards.

    It's all up to you. You are free to choose.
     
    Triumph, Mar 15, 2006 IP
  17. kk5st

    kk5st Prominent Member

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    #37
    Triumph: Nicely said, on all three posts.

    cheers,

    gary
     
    kk5st, Mar 15, 2006 IP
  18. ViciousSummer

    ViciousSummer Ayn Rand for President! Staff

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    #38
    That is the most pompous thing I have read all day and just proves one thing: You are a self-righteous tool.
     
    ViciousSummer, Mar 15, 2006 IP
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  19. ideas_man

    ideas_man Active Member

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    #39
    It is a shame though that people try and force developers into designing "their way", I'm sure most would oblige if they were politely asked and made aware of the situation.

    It is a shame also that people in favour of this (on this thread at least) feel the need to be condescending and almost insulting to those that speak out against it. Another annoying minority stamping its feet methinks.

    I have to admit I missed kk5st's comment:

    I must have switched off part way through... Zzz

    Why join a discussion if you're going to slam everyone for voicing their opinions? Your opinion is exactly that... your opinion. It happens to differ from mine... but mine is still valid, I stand by it and no amount of your immaturity will change that. ViciousSummer is right about this self-righteous edge you have... you're not better just because you fall in line.

    I think people sometimes forget that with opinions, there are no right or wrong answers.
     
    ideas_man, Mar 15, 2006 IP
  20. the_pm

    the_pm Peon

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    #40
    I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm trying to draw awareness to the W3C standards for accessible design. If you accept W3C as the authority in Web practices (as all browser manufacturers have done), then the WCAG documentation is another component in proper development, an extension of the standards that make up what we create. This isn't a matter of forcing people to follow arbitrary practices. It's a matter of creating awareness that the industry standards are already in place, and it is up to developers to understand the importance of following them. It's not a matter of majorities or minorities feeling one way or another. It's a matter of those standards having more and more meaning every day. It just so happens we're on the cusp of that meaning taking a legal form.

    The bottom line is that you can choose to ignore those standards of practice, but the industry is going to continue to march forward. Every developer has a choice to make, whether to move forward with the industry or not. But the discussion is almost moot.
     
    the_pm, Mar 15, 2006 IP