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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. Triumph

    Triumph Guest

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    #61
    No, we are not going to equate being black with having a disability. On the other hand there is a whole lot of bigotry going on in this thread.
    SEMrush
     
    Triumph, Mar 16, 2006 IP
    SEMrush
  2. Dekker

    Dekker Peon

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    #62
    What about the Americans with Disabilities Act?

    You aren't 'free' in America to do whatever you want. Free speech doesn't exist either, there are rules that apply to it. Most people quote the name of the act of free speech not the entire body of it, which puts limitations on it.
     
    Dekker, Mar 16, 2006 IP
  3. mdvaldosta

    mdvaldosta Peon

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    #63
    What would be so hard for screen readers to interpret a table layout properly? Hell if IE and even an open source web brower can do it, why can't they?
     
    mdvaldosta, Mar 16, 2006 IP
  4. Dekker

    Dekker Peon

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    #64
    because readers 'read from left to right'

    it has to make sense when the data is linearized.
     
    Dekker, Mar 16, 2006 IP
  5. the_pm

    the_pm Peon

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    #65
    :confused: Is the industry using something other than HTML/XHTML and CSS as the primary means to markup Web pages? Standards allow you to streamline; they are far from being responsible for bloat. What do you propose has replaced W3C standards? Standards-compliant development is being heralded as more important than ever within the industry. Browser companies create their browsing products to standards (yes, even MS tries to do this, and gets better with every long-awaited release). If you're not going to accept W3C documentation as your ISO for development, that's fine. But what are you using as your ISO instead, and who is supporting that ISO?

    Raise your hands if you have read and are familiar with WCAG documentation! I'd at least like to know who here can actually debate its merits from an informed position and who can't, so I know which comments to ignore.

    If you are familiar with it, then please tell me what portions you are unable to agree to and why.
     
    the_pm, Mar 16, 2006 IP
  6. ideas_man

    ideas_man Active Member

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    #66
    Triumph, call it "bigotry" if you like (which it isn't) but not one of you have put forward a valid argument as to why designers should accomodate a tiny percentage of users.

    All I'm hearing is...it's the right thing to do and we're better than you for doing it.Not one person has put forward an argument that changing web designers' ways is more logical than improving screen reading technology.

    As for the wheelchair analogy that is being thrown around.... well that's a bit pointless since there are chairs that can climb steps. An invention conceived out of necessity. If you really want a wheelchair analogy how about this.... the motorised wheelchair. If I apply the "logic" being used by some in this thread.... the motorised WC would never have been invented, instead we'd have made laws to make it the responsibility of the public to push wheelchair users around. Madness.
     
    ideas_man, Mar 16, 2006 IP
    1 person likes this.
  7. dkalweit

    dkalweit Well-Known Member

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    #67
    The W3C handles more standards than just html/css. SOAP, XML, XSL, XSD, etc. Many are needlessly bloated.



    I followed the link in this thread to it, and started to read a bit of it, and was validated in my point that it was a wasteful expense to my business to spend time reading the somewhat lengthy document. How about a summarization from the W3C's bloated doc? A bulletized list, here in this thread? All I've heard is 'don't use tables' and 'use alt text'. I use alt text many places, simply for SEO reasons, and the table thing is debatable-- screen readers should definitely be able to handle this... What else is there? Colors? That's basic common sense, too.


    --
    Derek
     
    dkalweit, Mar 16, 2006 IP
  8. the_pm

    the_pm Peon

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    #68
    You're right. You should continue to design the way you do. Go for it.

    I met today with a potential customer. It's not a huge deal, maybe a $20-25k Web project. We will be bidding against two other companies. One of the requirements was accessibility awareness - they had a consultant advising them on the RFP - she's a smart woman. The industry is moving forward, from a place of apathy to a place of understanding of accessibility concerns and proactive development. You can move with the industry or you and cover your ears scream "la-la-la-la-la" as loud as you want and pretend it's not important. No matter what your choice, the industry is still going to move forward as awareness of people's needs expands. Remember, no one is asking Web developers to compromise what they do now. They're only asking that they use techniques to create exactly what they create already, but in such a way that more people can use it.

    Yes, W3C handles more than (X)HTML and CSS. Are we concerning ourselves with accessibility within any of these other technologies? How well do you know the standards to be able to say they any of the documentation is needless?

    Some things simply don't lend themselves to creating a dumbed down version. It's an industry standard. Read it. Learn it. Or choose to ignore it. If you can't be bothered to educate yourself on a topic that is becoming more prominent every day, then why are you putting so much effort into arguing that it's not important in the first place? We can debate it all we want. In the real world, accessibility concerns are transitioning from being a want to a necessity in many facets of the Internet and now in nearly every intranet discussion that takes place within companies.
     
    the_pm, Mar 16, 2006 IP
  9. dkalweit

    dkalweit Well-Known Member

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    #69
    I work with far more than just HTML and CSS. These other standards have completely useless things added to them-- things that are anti-productive, such as a WSDL file URL reference in the WSDL file... How useful is that, really? If you have the WSDL file to read, you know where it is most of the time-- really f's up distributable web services, requiring the wsdl file to be dynamically generated per server... Useless crap added by the standards body.


    RFC's are also industry standards. I won't spend my day reading those either-- even when I need to know something in the RFC, I'll do my best to extract the specific info I need and not waste time reading the excessively long, dry, bloated document.


    You, the people sueing Target, and those scared of being sued themselves are the ones that seem to see it being so prominent. Personally, I'll focus on ways to grow my business and make money and not cater to <1% of my potential users/customers for a net loss.


    --
    Derek
     
    dkalweit, Mar 16, 2006 IP
  10. Dekker

    Dekker Peon

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    #70
    it really doesn't take THAT much effort to make a site accessible. just some CSS <divs> to make everything fall well linearly. if you don't know how then whatever. most "web 2.0" designs are accessible just because of the way they are layed out.
     
    Dekker, Mar 16, 2006 IP
  11. the_pm

    the_pm Peon

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    #71
    But is it hurting anyone that it's there? Usefulness is gauged according to the entire audience.

    If we were arguing the merits of various RFCs, then this wouldn't fly.

    It's not a matter of catering to <1% of your audience. It's a matter of catering to 100% instead of 99%. BTW, 7% of all males are affected by some form of non-correctible visual impairment.

    You never know which site visitor is going to be your customer's best customer. If you prevent, say, 5% of the visiting audience from using a site, when proper development techniques might reduce this down to .01% or less, then you are, in effect, telling every 20th visitor they are not allowed to use your site. In the business world, 1/100 would be unacceptable, let alone 5%!

    If you're not catering to as close to a 100% audience as possible, we are getting to the point where you can forget any government contracts, you can forget any major corporate contracts, many mid-sized business contracts and many non-profit contracts. Customers don't want to hear excuses for why their sites can't be used by some people. They want to hear what you, the developer, are doing to make sure their audience isn't being excluded from using their sites. Accessibility is becoming a dealbreaker issue.
     
    the_pm, Mar 16, 2006 IP
  12. Dekker

    Dekker Peon

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    #72
    in any case, we're just resellers of an already sold product, there's other places people can look and they can get the business!
     
    Dekker, Mar 16, 2006 IP
  13. GADOOD

    GADOOD Peon

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    #73
    Blind people who do nothing but complain and about various companies and organisations not bending or spending more money and time to accomodate them infuriate me.

    It is not my responsibility to ensure blind people can read my website. They have pure text and that is enough. Blind people are lucky they can use computers in the first place given the fact they all come with monitors.

    There are many websites and organisations that cater for those with disabilities: Blind people should use them and their screen readers and those that are moaning should quit it - there is enough emphasis, thought, time and much money thrust in to making everything from public transport to access to government buildings, libraries etc accessible for those with various disabilities.

    I'm sure this Advocacy group needs something to keep itself 'in business' and it's employers, legal people employed.

    What a load of rubbish.

    Pete
     
    GADOOD, Mar 16, 2006 IP
    dkalweit likes this.
  14. FeelLikeANut

    FeelLikeANut Peon

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    #74
    Screen readers don't see, they read. You throw text and objects around on the page to get the look you want with no consideration for how it will be read. IE and FF are visual browsers. They don't have to make sense of the information. They just put up the pictures and it's up to the human to look at the result and make sense of it. After saying, "If IE can do it, why can't they?" you might as well just stand up and admit that you really have no idea how these technologies work, and that you have no idea what you're talking about.

    You mean except for the fact that it is damn near impossible to make screen readers do what you're asking for? It was even admitted on the other side of the debate that screen readers cannot magically read pictures.

    Semantic markup means you put in information for the screen reader -- or any browsing device -- to follow. That information is absolutely necessary. If you're driving down a road with no street markings, no road signs, and no traffic lights, would you be able to drive properly? Stop where you're supposed to stop? Always be in the correct lane? Not a chance. You need those markers to tell you where to go and what to do. Your argument would claim that the lack of those markers is current technology, and that the driver should keep up by somehow knowing what all these absent markings and signs would have said if they were there. Maybe one day we will program ESP into screen readers so you can be happy.
     
    FeelLikeANut, Mar 16, 2006 IP
  15. ideas_man

    ideas_man Active Member

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    #75
    Your spiel about road signs is invalid. We're not talking about something which benefits everyone, we're talking about something which may benefit a select few. As a public service that taxpayers pay for...sure the goverment should put up signs, everyone should be able to use what they pay for and what they are entitled to.Nobody is "entitled" to use my website.

    Sure, images are difficult to "read".... but it isn't impossible.... nobody is trying hard enough. It is easier for them to pass the buck and make it our problem instead. That isn't a valid argument.... it is laziness.
     
    ideas_man, Mar 16, 2006 IP
  16. Dekker

    Dekker Peon

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    #76
    what about those handicapped wheelchair elevators? or the lock clasps on subways? and handicapped parking spaces?
     
    Dekker, Mar 16, 2006 IP
  17. the_pm

    the_pm Peon

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    #77
    If a screen reader encounters a picture of me and my wife, how is it supposed to tell a blind person that there is a picture of Paul and Amy on the page, without having a database of every person and object in the entire known universe to reference? It's not laziness that prevents this from being made. It's pure fantasy to believe it can be done! It's the responsibility of the person disseminating information to ensure that it is clear, not the responsibility of technology to guess at the author's intent.
     
    the_pm, Mar 16, 2006 IP
  18. FeelLikeANut

    FeelLikeANut Peon

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    #78
    The analogy is to try to make a point more clear, not to be an identical situation in every way. The point is that to expect screen readers to understand non-semantic pages is just as illogical as expecting a person to drive without markings, signs, and lights.
    At the moment, and likely far into the future, it is.
    The inability of computers to extract text from pictures is now widely used as a security measure. It is a good assumption that many people and businesses are trying very hard to byspass that security. People are, in fact, trying very hard to develop this technology. Your claim that it hasn't been discovered because of laziness is wrong.
    Exactly! All the things we build to accomodate the handicapped, so they can still live and work with everyone else.
     
    FeelLikeANut, Mar 16, 2006 IP
  19. ViciousSummer

    ViciousSummer Ayn Rand for President! Staff

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    #79
    And, by "select few" we are talking about even less then all people that are legally blind. Every blind person is not interested in surfing the web, let alone accessing each and every website out there.

    One of my good friends has been in a wheelchair for most of his life and it annoys him to no end when people try to "help" him with everything from getting into his car to taking it among themselves to push his wheelchair along when he was getting along just fine (you can read some of his experiances here.) One of his biggest beefs is that people do all these things to make themselves feel all warm and fuzzy inside, when really they are just making the handicapped more aware that they are indeed different.

    Amen.
     
    ViciousSummer, Mar 16, 2006 IP
  20. dkalweit

    dkalweit Well-Known Member

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    #80
    I didn't say usefulness-- I said needless. The attribute to which I refer is absolutely not needed logically, yet needed syntaxly-- for no good reason.


    You are arguing industry standards. Same industry, different document, same argument.



    I don't cater to 100% and I don't cater to 99% of my potential audience. I cater to a self-calculated worthwhile %. I will not spend a considerable amount of time and money catering to anyone if I don't see a return on my investment. It's bad business to do so. In the utopia that you think this world should be, I wouldn't be creating websites anyways, as I'd have no motivation.


    I'm sure a very large percentage of that, is red/green color-blindness, which is very common(esp. in males). Most of which don't need to use screen readers and are totally able to read most of the sites that don't comply-- probably even Target's site...


    The demographics for my sites pretty much require people to be not-blind in the first place... Video games, IT professionals, people downloading various software, etc.-- most of those things require eyesight...

    Secondly, they can use my websites. I may even be in full compliance with the W3C's document, just by chance. But I'm not going to waste my time to find out to cater to a demographic that I won't see a ROI on.


    I'm not looking for contracts. I develop websites to create profit-- I don't whore out my time to the government, businesses(usually), or non-profits. I have gotten many business contracts in the past, however, and absolutely none of them gave any thought to blind accessability, as like me, their demographic really couldn't contain any...



    You're in a different website development contract business, obviously. If I accepted such a contract, and the requirements stated blind accessability, I'd be sure to include it in whatever I was doing. If I knew my demographic would contain a good number of blind, I'd take special care and actually bring up the subject with the organization I was doing a website for if they hadn't already thought about it-- as my mention of the 'Guiding Eyes for the Blind' site in my first reply in this thread(no, I'm not their webmaster; just a reference I happen to know of).


    --
    Derek
     
    dkalweit, Mar 16, 2006 IP