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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. Blogmaster

    Blogmaster Blood Type Dating Affiliate Manager

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    #41
    Very interesting points made in here. I don't see how any webmaster individually could and should be held accountable for not going out of his way to implement the right structure to make his site accessible to the blind. Hold the industry accountable as a whole if you want. Discrimination IMO would be wilfull negligence as in refusal to use the tools at hand in order to make your site readable for the blind. I do however believe that some major corporations which service a gigantic load of customer do have more of a responsibility to be forerunners at current developments. So if you want to sue someone, sue a site run by Walmart, Sears, not a small business owner who doesn't even have a clue how to go about this.

    And yes, I do think that it's important to enable the disabled. Whatever we can do as a society to make their lives more "normal" is what we should do. And overall our laws should reflect that.
    SEMrush
    Just my 2 centavos.
     
    Blogmaster, Mar 15, 2006 IP
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    SEMrush
  2. the_pm

    the_pm Peon

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    #42
    Mike, you are a splendid one to behold :p

    (I'm glad you are so amused by my misfortunes)
     
    the_pm, Mar 15, 2006 IP
  3. Blogmaster

    Blogmaster Blood Type Dating Affiliate Manager

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    #43
    You're talking about the "private note"? ;)
    Nah, man. You're just getting a taste what many of us have dealt with for quite some time. Welcome to the club :)
     
    Blogmaster, Mar 15, 2006 IP
  4. FeelLikeANut

    FeelLikeANut Peon

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    #44
    I haven't read the entire thread, but one comment on the first page seemed not well thought out and I felt the need to respond.

    This is a completely rediculous suggestion. That is like suggesting that, instead of building ramps, wheelchairs should be capable of leaping over curbs. Some things are possible, and some are not.
     
    FeelLikeANut, Mar 15, 2006 IP
  5. dkalweit

    dkalweit Well-Known Member

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    #45
    Why can't they? We've had OCR technology out there for ages. Wouldn't it serve the blind community much better to add this existing technology(and probably beef it up a bit) to their readers to solve a lot of the problems? While OCR wouldn't help with photos and the like, they sure would help for people who use text in images for navigation and such. Maybe in 5-10 years, other AI recognition algorithms will be advanced enough to roughly describe some images, even.


    --
    Derek

    That's the exact point I'm arguing-- people are arguing(as has been done in other countries), that laws should be passed in this country to TAKE THIS FREEDOM AWAY from me. I should be free to make a business decision if the time and effort is worthwhile to make sure my sites are blind-accessible is worth the potential business from this demographic. I analyze such a demographic in the same way I'd analyze anything else.

    If it would truely make people stop using my business sites, or 'stop hiring me', then it would be an issue-- in reality, it's not. In fact, most people I have worked for, rightfully so, would be pissed off if I spent any considerable amount of time catering to any tiny minority-- especially as small as <1% of the potential visitors to most sites...


    --
    Derek

    You relate staying current with the industry as being bound to a document 7 years old? The industry is always far ahead of standards, and if we had to wait for a standard from a body like the W3C for anything, we'd never get anything done and EVERYTHING would be as bloated as some of their standards...


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

    ViciousSummer Ayn Rand for President! Staff

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    #46
    So you think it is completely ridiculous to ask that screen readers keep up with current technology, but instead it's better to try and make millions of webmasters change their lives/art/craft to suit the possibilty that a blind person may someday stumble upon their webpage while using an outdated screen reader. Yeah, okay :rolleyes:.

    I've happened upon many a webpage that isn't compatible with my web browser/computer (i'm a Mac girl). Did I go suing any one because I couldn't use their website? Did I even whine or cry about it? Fuck no. Get over it and move on.
     
    ViciousSummer, Mar 15, 2006 IP
  7. FeelLikeANut

    FeelLikeANut Peon

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    #47
    I think it is ridiculous to expect screen readers to perform a virtually impossible task. That is why I used the wheelchair analogy -- it would be ridiciously difficult to build a wheelchair that can safely move on and off curbs.

    Besides, the technology that makes Web pages inaccessable is OLD technology. Current technology is, in fact, what makes accessability possible, along with other benefits. That means screen readers have kept up with techology; it is the developers that are behind.
     
    FeelLikeANut, Mar 15, 2006 IP
  8. ViciousSummer

    ViciousSummer Ayn Rand for President! Staff

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    #48
    It's possible and it would be made if it had to be made. But people would rather sue big companies like Target and get a fat 7 figure settlement for their "inconvenience".

    If screen readers are relying on alt text to read web pages (as was mentioned earlier), then I beg to differ.

    I just viewed the source at Target.com and I had a general idea what was going on. Why can't screen readers?
     
    ViciousSummer, Mar 15, 2006 IP
  9. FeelLikeANut

    FeelLikeANut Peon

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    #49
    I wasn't even sure how to respond to this at first.

    Screen readers rely on alternate text because there is no other choice. Computers can barely translate a picture to text for simple fonts like Times with a black on white contrast, and even those programs require a human to teach the system what letter a picture represents. Throw in the different fonts, shapes, and colors used on Web pages and you will find that translating a picture to text is currently impossible, and will probably remain that way a very long time. The task is so difficult that it is even used as a security measure -- requiring a human to type the letters shown on a picture because a computer can't read it. You're not demanding screen readers use current technology; you're demanding they use technology that doesn't exist. You are demanding the impossible.
     
    FeelLikeANut, Mar 15, 2006 IP
  10. ViciousSummer

    ViciousSummer Ayn Rand for President! Staff

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    #50
    Yes, I know that screen readers can't magically read pictures. That is not the point. The blind can not see pictures in real life, so why should they see them on the internet? Look at the source of Target.com and tell me if you can get a general feel of what the site is. The title tag says "Welcome to Target" not "Burn in hell if you are blind".
     
    ViciousSummer, Mar 15, 2006 IP
  11. FeelLikeANut

    FeelLikeANut Peon

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    #51
    Because often a picture conveys necessary information. This page has a "Post Reply" link. The link is an image. How can a blind person have any idea what that link does if there is no alternate text?

    So blind people can tell enough to know it is not a Satanist site. Wow. :rolleyes:
    Can they actually use the site?
     
    FeelLikeANut, Mar 15, 2006 IP
  12. Dekker

    Dekker Peon

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    #52
    Speaking as a person who will be legally blind in 25-30 years, it is discrimination - of course, anytime someone's ability to use something is limited by something they can't control is discriminatory..

    Of course, do I expect every website to be impaired accessible? No.

    Is it a requirement by law? Yes, same as having wheelchair ramps on buildings.

    But given that it's the internet, I really only expect sites like Amazon, MSN, Google, eBay, and sites of those calibre to be accessible.

    Also, it's extremely easy to code a site up to standards, not hard at all. Most of it's just taking the time to create alt tags.
     
    Dekker, Mar 16, 2006 IP
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  13. ViciousSummer

    ViciousSummer Ayn Rand for President! Staff

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    #53
    Do they need to use the site? Like I've said before, as a Mac user, there are plenty of sites I can't use. So what?

    If the only way to call 911 was inaccessable to the blind, then that would be a problem. But buying crappy knick knacks on the internet is not really a fight we need to be fighting for the blind. ;)
     
    ViciousSummer, Mar 16, 2006 IP
  14. ViciousSummer

    ViciousSummer Ayn Rand for President! Staff

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    #54
    That's it. I'm starting a new foundation for discrimination against Macintosh Users (Ebay definately discriminates against Mac users, btw). Who wants to join my club? We can make millions (because that's what it's all about, right$$$$)
     
    ViciousSummer, Mar 16, 2006 IP
  15. Dekker

    Dekker Peon

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    #55
    A mac user can buy a PC :p Can a blind person buy eyes?

    Mute people have a service which they can call in to an operator who is able to communicate with them through a keyboard. They place calls for them through proxy.

    It's the same thing, except that it's not a government regulated service, it's completely voluntary. Some sites choose to be up to standards, and others not, mostly because there's no loss of business to them for not being usable.

    Would you change your tune if you found out 10% of your users were blind and unable to use your site? So yes, it is about the right amount of $$$$
     
    Dekker, Mar 16, 2006 IP
  16. FeelLikeANut

    FeelLikeANut Peon

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    #56
    Ahh, yes. It always seems to come down to that. Well there's nothing I can say to that. One way will reach a wider audience and also aid maintainability -- one of the developer's chores. The other way has no perks. But, either you care or you don't. You, obviously, don't.

    You are comparing your choice of browser to being blind. I mean, we all know that blind people are too stuborn to choose to have their sight back, but you don't have to rub it in. :rolleyes:
     
    FeelLikeANut, Mar 16, 2006 IP
  17. Dekker

    Dekker Peon

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    #57
    wtf? go start a business and put up a sign saying blacks aren't welcome :p
     
    Dekker, Mar 16, 2006 IP
  18. ViciousSummer

    ViciousSummer Ayn Rand for President! Staff

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    #58
    Oh I love it when people try and quote me out of context. I said: "Like I've said before, as a Mac user, there are plenty of sites I can't use. So what?"

    I like how you graze over any valid point and really go for the drama. That's cute. ;)
     
    ViciousSummer, Mar 16, 2006 IP
  19. FeelLikeANut

    FeelLikeANut Peon

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    #59
    I didn't quote you out of context. You said, essentially, you don't care if you can't visit a site, so why should they, which is saying simply, "I don't care."

    I also don't entirely believe that it is true. If you had no way to use the site of your bank, would you care? If you had no way to use this site, would you care?
     
    FeelLikeANut, Mar 16, 2006 IP
  20. ViciousSummer

    ViciousSummer Ayn Rand for President! Staff

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    #60
    Come on now. That's just sacreligious...

    Yep. I've received some of those calls when I worked in a call center for GEICO insurance. But guess what, mute people found a way to place calls without making everyone that had a phone use a different type of phone. Just in case a mute person called some day.
    Not if it would cost me the time and money to redesign all of my sites and have the end result not be aesthetically pleasing to the rest of my customers.
     
    ViciousSummer, Mar 16, 2006 IP
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