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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. Dekker

    Dekker Peon

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    #101
    Which would be bionic eyes?
    SEMrush
     
    Dekker, Mar 16, 2006 IP
    SEMrush
  2. the_pm

    the_pm Peon

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    #102
    I'm proposing people get off their laurals and start doing what we know we can do to make the Web more accessible. Are you proposing that we wait around for something that is currently not in the realm of feasibility? While we're waiting another hundred years for this magical recognition software you are certain we will create, why dont we spend the time making things that everyone can actually use? I see pushing this onto the technology developers as a cop out for people who cannot be bothered to do what is already in their power to do to make the Web more accessible.
     
    the_pm, Mar 16, 2006 IP
  3. Dekker

    Dekker Peon

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    #103
    and it really really really really really isn't that hard you could even keep your normal layout, just wrap individual sections in <divs>
     
    Dekker, Mar 16, 2006 IP
  4. corinaw

    corinaw Not Banned

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    #104
    I’m in the US, but according to a site called silktide, there is already a law in place in Britain requiring compliance to the W3C standards. I think it’s just a matter of time until the USA implements something similar.

    “This website is probably unlawful in Britain from the 1st October 2004. The British Disability Discrimination Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against a disabled person by refusing to provide any service provided to members of the public - including websites.”


    I would like to introduce another reason why it’s a good idea to making your website accessible though. >>If a blind person can read your site well, think of how well described/documented your site will be for the search engines.

    My site is not totally compliant, but I have taken the guidelines into account as best as possible. I figure the closer I follow the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, the better off my site will be.

    Following some of guidelines for accessibility will only improve your site, many are just common sense. It’s a good way to further SEO your site, without spamming it up or comment keyword stuffing.

    1. Give each frame a title.

    2. If an image conveys important information beyond what is in its alternative text, provide an extended description.

    3. If you use color to convey information, make sure the information is also represented another way.

    4. If this is a data table (not used for layout only), identify headers for the table rows and columns.


    Here are 2 good tools I found to check compliance, and give you tips to improve (seo) your site

    http://www.silktide.com

    http://webxact3.watchfire.com/report.asp
     
    corinaw, Mar 16, 2006 IP
    the_pm and dkalweit like this.
  5. the_pm

    the_pm Peon

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    #105
    Excellent post corinaw. People forget that human visitors are not the only ones who reward you for developing conscientiously.

    Minus a couple brief displays of ignorance, this has been an interesting, empassioned debate. I've enjoyed it quite a bit. I'm signing out now. See ya'll in about 15 hours :)
     
    the_pm, Mar 16, 2006 IP
  6. Triumph

    Triumph Guest

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    #106
    It is when it is said "why should I cater to a small percentage of people?". If you are not treating everyone as an equal that is bigotry. It really is that simple.

    I'm sorry, I consider all of this common knowledge. I didn't think it would have to be rehashed yet again.

    To put it simply (as I believe I've already said) to alienate one single visitor is bad business. Even a personal hobby site benefits from visitors. A business site that makes it hard for a handicapped person to navigate could lose thousands of dollars.

    Me? I want all the business I can drum up. I love capitalism.
     
    Triumph, Mar 17, 2006 IP
  7. mdvaldosta

    mdvaldosta Peon

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    #107
    I don't think anyone here denies that websites would be better off if they were blind accessable... the question here is whether or not a website should face a lawsuite for discrimination if it's not accessable.

    You honestly think it's fair for .01% of internet users to file lawsuits against millions of websites not designed in valid CSS? I'm not unsympathetic, I just can't understand that reasoning.

    What's next? Tax on emails? Civil suites against companies with dead links on their site? Penalties for not using a certain type of navigation? Must design websites in font size 20 so people with bad vision don't have to strain? All websites must be designed for the same screen resolution? All javascript banned from web pages? Businesses forced to have a website so handicapped people can shop from home?

    I ask again, where do we draw the line?
     
    mdvaldosta, Mar 17, 2006 IP
  8. Triumph

    Triumph Guest

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    #108
    Many, many, many sites replace header and menu text with images. The text in the image is meant to be read.

    Look at this page: http://www.imaginekitty.com/bad.html

    Here is what a screen reader will see:
                                                                      Untitled-1 
                                                                                    
       [Untitled-1_01.gif]                                                          
       [Untitled-1_02.gif] [Untitled-1_03.gif] [Untitled-1_04.gif]                  
                           [Untitled-1_05.gif]                                      
                           [Untitled-1_06.gif]                                      
                           [Untitled-1_07.gif]                                      
                           [Untitled-1_08.gif]                                      
                           [Untitled-1_09.gif]                                      
                           [Untitled-1_10.gif]                                      
                           [Untitled-1_11.gif]                                      
                           [Untitled-1_12.gif]  
    Code (markup):
    You may think that is an extreme case (and it is) but I have see it live on the web like that and worse.

    I agree with you. Is it fair to file a lawsuit? Not really. Does it happen? Absolutely.

    I believe in voting with your wallet. If a site "offends" you don't buy from it and let them know why. If they lose enough sales then maybe they'll change. As for me, adding a few accessibility points to my sites is so simple I don't see why anyone wouldn't do the same. Potential customers are important to me.
     
    Triumph, Mar 17, 2006 IP
    Lorraine likes this.
  9. ViciousSummer

    ViciousSummer Ayn Rand for President! Staff

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    #109
    That is more then a blind person would see in the display window of a store in the mall. If that's what I saw on a website and I was interested in finding out more. I would click on one of the links and see what happened. Not sue them.

    Any how, no one here is going to change their opinion on this one, so I say we all drop it ;).
     
    ViciousSummer, Mar 17, 2006 IP
  10. Dekker

    Dekker Peon

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    #110
    But umm....a blind person can go to a department store and ask for assistance from the store's staff. Actually, they're legally required to do so, same with educational facilities.
     
    Dekker, Mar 17, 2006 IP
  11. ViciousSummer

    ViciousSummer Ayn Rand for President! Staff

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    #111
    And they can call or email for assistance at any of my stores. Do you think it would be better if I flew a rep out to the home of every blind person that would like to shop at my websites?
     
    ViciousSummer, Mar 17, 2006 IP
  12. Dekker

    Dekker Peon

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    #112
    Sure, but it'd be more cost efficient just to make it up to standards :p
     
    Dekker, Mar 17, 2006 IP
  13. ViciousSummer

    ViciousSummer Ayn Rand for President! Staff

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    #113
    No.

    * :) *
     
    ViciousSummer, Mar 17, 2006 IP
  14. Triumph

    Triumph Guest

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    #114
    Let's not forget the most active and largest web surfer in the world is blind. That surfer is google.com!

    Remember your accessible sites will rank better. :)
     
    Triumph, Mar 17, 2006 IP
  15. cpr

    cpr Peon

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    #115
    I'd say it is yes.
     
    cpr, Mar 17, 2006 IP
  16. Lorraine

    Lorraine Guest

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    #116
    First post - and a very interesting thread.

    It is clear there are a number of people/web developers here who understand the ethics and business reasons behind making websites accessibile to as many people as possible - not just to those site visitors who are blind, but to people with mobility and cognitive problems. Just think how many potential purchasers could leave an inaccessible e-commerce site and go elsewhere. There are people here who, clearly, already practice accessibility in their daily grind - good for you. There are those who don't actually understand but are willing to try - good for you too. Frankly, to those new to accessibility, if you can produce valid code, read, understand and implement some guidelines you are most of the way towards producing an accessible site. Accessibility is not rocket science - although infinitely nested non-linearized tables may well be;)

    Then there are the others. The ones who do not or refuse to understand, are not willing to learn and attack those who do understand and are willing to learn. They are the same people who do not even appreciate their words and "screenies" are being noticed by people who head-hunt for web developers. I lurk on a number of fora, as part of my job, looking for enlightened web developers. I was lured here from another forum, because I found it hard to believe some of the reports about what had been said by some people here.

    In the UK it has been illegal to own an inaccessible website since 1999. No case law yet (although there have been cases settled out of court) but keep your eyes peeled - there are several new initiatives afoot. In Australia accessible websites are becoming the norm. In the US - well - what can I say, there have been a couple of cases but no precedents - the learned justices could not agree. Maybe Target will set the precedent, who knows?

    Oh and if I may say forum administrators the registration process is not accessible. The wiggly registration "image" cannot be read by screen-readers or people who have poor eye-sight - you may have forgotten how many older people there are in the world whose sight is not as good as it was and who might quite like to join the forum.
     
    Lorraine, Mar 17, 2006 IP
  17. kk5st

    kk5st Prominent Member

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    #117
    No, the question was, "is it discrimination?" Whether a suit should/could be brought is a different question.

    I don't know where in hell you get your numbers. Do you honestly believe (since that's a made up number), that only one in ten-thousand people is vision-impaired? Hmm. The CDC, using NIH data, sz the number for children, 10 and under, is 7 in 10,000. That alone is seven times your number. Further the number for adults, 40 and older is 3.4 million vision impaired. That's 114 times your number.

    Is it fair that they sue? Probably. I would if I were denied access to an open-to-the-public web business by artificial barriers, erected simply because the site developer was ignorant of or indifferent to well established and non-onerous standards.

    Specious, deceptive and non applicable arguments.

    Again, simple adherance to well established standards and practices that any professional web developer is familiar with is sufficient. Separating the presentation and behavior, css and javascript, respectively, from the content and its structural markup means that the page is renderable and accessible with or without either or both of css and javascript. We are not talking about any extra ordinary steps, just professional craftsmanship.

    Screen rez designs, that's up to your pride in your craft. Font size is out of your control. The user can always override your choice. Using relative sizes rather than px will make it easier on users of obsolete browsers like IE.

    Get real.

    gary
     
    kk5st, Mar 17, 2006 IP
    Lorraine likes this.
  18. Blogmaster

    Blogmaster Blood Type Dating Affiliate Manager

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    #118
    I wished we had some blind people here giving us input on what they think/feel. Not making fun, it would be cool to have someone access DP thru voice and braille and whatever else it may take to make it possible for them to participate in these conversations.
     
    Blogmaster, Mar 17, 2006 IP
  19. the_pm

    the_pm Peon

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    #119
    The precedent was set in Australia back in 2000, when the Sydney Olympic Committee was sued by a blind man who could not access information on their site. IIRC, this was the first recorded instance of a successful lawsuit regarding accessibility. He won $20k in punitive damages, and SOC had to make necessary revisions.

    Target will not set a precedent, because unless circumstances radically change, everything will be settled out of court. Thus there will be no legal precedent.

    But the Web is in its infancy. Twelve years of true, open consumer use is a very short time in the life cycle of any medium (yes, I also had an email account back in the mid-80s - I'm talking about general consumer awareness and usage). Lorraine, I would approach questions like this with optimism, not cynicism. Think about how this discussion would have unfolded five years ago, versus the debate that took place over the last few days. We've come a long way :)
     
    the_pm, Mar 17, 2006 IP
  20. dkalweit

    dkalweit Well-Known Member

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    #120
    I do believe he said 'internet users'. 100% of those that are blind are not internet users-- probably a very very small % of this already small 1.14% of blind adults are. And of that 1.14% that are visually impaired, I'm sure a much smaller number of people actually use screen readers.

    I wear glasses; Am I visually impaired? According to that site, it lists near-sightedness in the list, so I guess I am in that number?


    Well, thank you very much for being part of one of the biggest problems in this country.



    --
    Derek
     
    dkalweit, Mar 17, 2006 IP