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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. kk5st

    kk5st Prominent Member

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    #121
    A more patently ridiculous statement I can't imagine.
    SEMrush
    I do not have figures on the portion of the blind that use the internet. From personal experience, the only three blind people I know are heavily invested in the internet. One even runs his business (transcribing to Braille) from his website. One is a lawyer, and the other works a second tier help desk. All depend on screen readers.

    Because of the difficulties the vision impaired encounter trying to travel about town, I would think that the internet would be high on their list of conveniences.

    Instead of arguing for your own amateurism and bigotry, why don't you simply remove any barriers you've erected and not sweat being sued?

    gary
     
    kk5st, Mar 17, 2006 IP
    SEMrush
  2. Lorraine

    Lorraine Guest

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    #122
    Blogmaster - I think I understand your sentiments. If you want input on what aspects of DP make it difficult for people who use screen-readers or Braille terminals, those who cannot use a mouse but must use a keyboard only, also those who are so mobility impaired that they have to use a "possum" (head-stick) to hit the keys, then I can ask some of the people to whom I teach computing and surfing to have a go. The problem is something of a Catch-22 situation, however. If the forum is not accessible in the first place, they cannot participate - so... And they may not have time to participate just to be "cool".

    Thank you for that. I recall discussions such as this about 9 years ago when I was among the optimists, but 5 years ago I merely ignored them as being a little out of date. To this forum today, I appreciate I may have come across as cynical to some, but most people who know me (yes, they are generally into accessibility) would have considered I was being realistic and err... of the times. ;)
     
    Lorraine, Mar 17, 2006 IP
    kk5st likes this.
  3. dkalweit

    dkalweit Well-Known Member

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    #123
    I'd rather fight for freedom than give into fascists such as yourself that want to push their ethical/moral/religious beliefs on me.

    Hitler thought he was doing good, too.

    Live and let live. I don't ask people to go out of their way to accomodate me-- and I don't expect others to FORCE me to do so for them, no matter who they are-- blind, deaf, black, white, foreign, etc. It needs to be MY decision to help others out if they want/need it.


    --
    Derek
     
    dkalweit, Mar 17, 2006 IP
    mnemtsas likes this.
  4. kk5st

    kk5st Prominent Member

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    #124
    :shrug:

    gary
     
    kk5st, Mar 17, 2006 IP
  5. FeelLikeANut

    FeelLikeANut Peon

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    #125
    That you cannot kill people is a moral belief that is imposed on you. That you cannot yell "bomb" in a crowded theater is a moral belief that is imposed on you. All these moral beliefs are meant to help people and make life better. Accessibility is also meant to help people and make their life better. How do you draw the line that makes this Fascism? Is handicapped parking also the result of Fascism?
     
    FeelLikeANut, Mar 17, 2006 IP
  6. Dekker

    Dekker Peon

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    #126
    It's like pulling teeth here....
     
    Dekker, Mar 17, 2006 IP
  7. Lorraine

    Lorraine Guest

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    #127
    Are you mocking the dentally challenged? :D
     
    Lorraine, Mar 17, 2006 IP
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  8. Dekker

    Dekker Peon

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    #128
    hehehe

    but it's really not that hard, anything tables can do div tags can do as well (except for vertical aligning text within a text and that's only in IE)
     
    Dekker, Mar 17, 2006 IP
  9. Triumph

    Triumph Guest

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    #129
    Because he doesn't want to do it.
     
    Triumph, Mar 17, 2006 IP
  10. Lorraine

    Lorraine Guest

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    #130
    Don't know what problems you're having with that, but have you played around with line-height or negating the differing defaults in the various browsers then adding back margin/padding on the elements that need it?
     
    Lorraine, Mar 17, 2006 IP
  11. Dekker

    Dekker Peon

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    #131
    yup, i did try everything, even looked up some hacks. for some reason with the line-height IE was adding an extra margin, and I couldn't get rid of it.
     
    Dekker, Mar 17, 2006 IP
  12. FeelLikeANut

    FeelLikeANut Peon

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    #132
    <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN"
     "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">
    
    <html lang="en-us">
    
    <head>
    	<title></title>
    	<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=us-ascii">
    	<style type="text/css" media="screen">
    
    		#Greeting {
    			background-color: rgb(235,245,255);
    			text-align: center;
    			padding: 2em 0;
    			font-size: 200%;
    		}
    
    	</style>
    </head>
    
    <body>
    
    	<div id="Greeting">
    		<p>Hello,<br>World!</p>
    	</div>
    
    </body>
    
    </html>
    HTML:
     
    FeelLikeANut, Mar 17, 2006 IP
  13. dkalweit

    dkalweit Well-Known Member

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    #133
    You're trying to say that making websites more screen-reader friendly is as important to the common good as making murder a crime? I'm pretty sure if we could only have one of those two laws in this country(or any), most people would rather protect themselves from murder than naughty webmasters using tables instead of div tags or not using alt attributes...


    Personally, I draw the line at what actually hurts another person. If I go over and kick a blind person, that should be illegal-- it's an active choice to harm someone else, taking away their freedom to be unharmed. If I don't help them across the street, that's my choice to not do something good-- if I wasn't there, they'd get across the street, or stay where they are. Why should me being here suddenly make me obligated to help them? Why should the existance of my website alone suddenly obligate me to make it 100% accessible to them? I don't buy this 'passive negligence' bullshit-- to believe that, you have to accept that everyone is morally obligated to help others, yada yada.

    Lunacy... You can disagree with the 'live and let live' philosophy, but please don't pretend to not understand it and insult my intelligence to believe that way.


    --
    Derek
     
    dkalweit, Mar 17, 2006 IP
  14. FeelLikeANut

    FeelLikeANut Peon

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    #134
    Nowhere in my post did I compare the relative importance of one law to another.

    So you draw the line also with handicapped parking? After all, why should you sacrifice a convenience to help another person? You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but whether than opinion is hypocritical or not determines what respect that opinion deserves.

    And, in point of fact, building an accessible Web site has other benefits that make the developer's job easier. The techniques that make a site accessible would, in fact, help rather than hurt you.
     
    FeelLikeANut, Mar 17, 2006 IP
  15. designstartup

    designstartup Peon

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    #135
    Smokers face more discrimination then blind web surfers.
     
    designstartup, Jul 9, 2008 IP
  16. steelfrog

    steelfrog Peon

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    #136
    Dude, stop bumping up old threads.
     
    steelfrog, Jul 9, 2008 IP
  17. jamesicus

    jamesicus Peon

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    #137
    This is always an emotional issue, not only as it applies to blind Web users but also as it involves People with Disabilities in general. One thing for sure, the attitudes of Web authors toward Web accessibility changes dramatically over time as they surely and inevitably accrue their own disabilities. I am seventy nine years old and, although I am in reasonably good health, I already have disabilities that hamper my Web usage: My vision is noticeably diminished and I have difficulty reading small text -- especially when there is not good contrast with background colors -- even when using my "computer screen friendly glasses" -- I often increase the text font size via the keyboard. I have low-grade prostate cancer which means I tire easily -- I relish even tiny aids to browsing comfort such as short text line length that relieves eye fatigue -- I also frequently browse pages with images turned off (or use my "Lynx" textual Browser). I don't wish to sound like a physical wreck or come across as a "whiner" but I also have occasional bouts of sciatica and arthritis which debilitates me and I find great relief in using an audio browser on those occasions.

    Now to the most emotionally charged component of Web Content Accessibility: I personally do not think that Web authors should be required, or feel under duress, to produce private/personal Web pages Accessible to People with Disabilities (as defined below). It really should be a personal choice on their part. (Government information pages are another matter altogether).

    I believe I am typical of most People with Disabilities with regard to web page usage: if I have difficulty using a page I am visiting, or experience discomfort, I either adjust my Browser settings to overcome the problem -- or abort my visit.

    BTW, several years ago I was the Senior Technical Advisor (volunteer) for Access World Design and Development, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to the training and employment of the disabled in accessible web design. Most members were severely disabled, (Deafblind or with respirator dependent Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy), who we trained to become independently proficient Web authors. It was a most rewarding experience and I remain committed to Web Content Accessibility to this day.


    I hope the following notes offer futher insight:

    What is Web Content Accessibility all about?

    The first thing that comes to mind is accessibility for people with disabilities, and that indeed is the main thrust, but most Internet users have only a vague concept of how that applies to the World Wide Web, particularly the rendering of web pages. As one of my friends put it "I always thought this concept of accessibility referred to wheelchair ramps, hand rails, instructions in Braille and extra wide toilet stalls. How does all this relate to the Internet?" A fair question that deserves a thorough explanation.

    As you are creating or reading a web page in the customary way imagine that you:

    * Are blind and have to use a special device to read and render the text (Braille) as it appears on the page from left to right, top to bottom. Images will be invisible and you will have to rely on explanatory text provided by the page Creator to find out what they depict.

    * Are deaf or your hearing is severely diminished and therefor you cannot hear any audio information or music provided by the page Creator.

    * Cannot use your fingers or arms due to physical impairment and you are unable to use a mouse. You may have to use a head or mouth held stylus of some kind. You have to hope the page Creator provides for navigating and actuating hyperlinks using the keyboard.

    * Are so color blind that many color combinations confuse you. Maybe you cannot distinguish between red and green at all.

    * Are so visually impaired that you can only read the screen with a powerful magnifying device or browser. You hope the page Creator has used recognizable text fonts and good contrasting backgrounds.

    * Only have access to a text reading browser, so that no images are displayed at all.

    * Have cerebral/central nervous system dysfunction such as palsy or epilepsy that affects your perceptive and retentive capabilities. Animated gifs with rapid movement can be very distracting.

    Web page Accessibility for People with Disabilities is important in many ways, not the least of which is sheer humaneness and consideration for fellow human beings who yearn to freely access and enjoy the many commonplace things that non-disabled people take for granted.

    There are other considerations too.

    People with Disabilities are disproportionately high users of the Internet for shopping, and it follows that they seek out and frequent Web pages that are notably accessible, those that are considerate of their needs and friendly to them. So there is often a considerable commercial component to Web Content Accessibility.

    There are also incidental benefits inherent in accessible Web page production for Web page authors: Web pages that are fully accessible to people with disabilities present information in a direct and simple way, navigate with consistency, function satisfactorily in all user agents, and are easy to maintain.


    Web authors do not need to change their design approach or methodology in order to produce Web pages that are WCA compliant. In fact, most existing pages can easily be made fully accessible with very little effort or change. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) are now used extensively for page layout, thereby separating content from presentation. However, pages should function as intended when Style Sheets are turned off or not usable as is often the case with old Browsers.

    Easy things that Web Authors can do to enhance the Accessibility of their pages:

    * Provide descriptive text for images, (content & purpose via the ALT attribute. Decorative images should employ alt=" ").

    * Structure pages utilizing header markup., (use h1 for the page title and h2-h6 for section headings).

    * Provide a hierarchal Site Map of page links.

    * Ensure links make sense out of context, (natural language text descriptions - avoid "Click Here" or text within images).

    * Avoid duplication of Link text, (for different anchors on the same page).

    * Insure that there is good contrast between text and background colors.

    * Do not rely on color alone to convey meaning.

    * Employ punctuation that is compatible with screen reader usage.

    * Use proportional, rather than absolute, sizing and dimensions, (% and em rather than pixels).

    * Design to standards, (for interoperability, ease of maintenance, etc.).

    Not providing meaningful alternative text for images is the most frequent Accessibility error committed by Web Authors, fortunately one that is easily corrected.


    Heretofore, most users were content to accept page layout (presentation) and function the way it was delivered to them by Web authors, browser display preferences were uniformly not easy to change and the user base was generally unsophisticated in the ways of browser use. Now users have the capability to readily manipulate the layout or substitute their own style sheets when viewing pages in order to meet their personal tastes and needs.

    For such people the ability to instantaneously substitute such things as their own designations of text size and style, text/hyperlink color combinations, text/background color contrasts and image rendition toggling, is a great feature. Web pages that are inaccessible for them as originally presented can now be made reasonably accessible via Browser configuration choices or by using their own stylesheets.


    James
     
    jamesicus, Jul 9, 2008 IP
  18. kk5st

    kk5st Prominent Member

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    #138
    Nice post, James. I tried to give you some proper respect, but I guess I haven't spread the love enough to rep you. :shrug:

    cheers,

    gary
     
    kk5st, Jul 9, 2008 IP
  19. jamesicus

    jamesicus Peon

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    #139
    Thank you for your response, Gary. And thank you very much for your own efforts on behalf of Web Content accessibility!

    James
     
    jamesicus, Jul 9, 2008 IP