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  1. #51
    SitePoint Guru LinhGB's Avatar
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    Some of you seem to think that an accessible site would be a lot harder to create and cost twice as much as a non-accessible one... Amazing.
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  2. #52
    SitePoint Addict Php_penguin's Avatar
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    sue the roads cos your blind
    sue iPod cos your deaf
    sue Skype cos your dumb
    and sue anyone because you can - you are in america!

  3. #53
    SitePoint Addict Sojan80's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drhowarddrfine
    Let me put it this way. This wouldn't happen without the lawyers. I'll bet it was a lawyers idea.
    This is in fairly poor taste.

    Think about it for aminute. If we followed this thught to its logical conclusion and "kill all the lawyers", the people who know the law, the people whose job it is to help those folks who do not have the benefit of a law degree, then what checks do we have in place to stop the government, and other individuals from running roughshod over everyone and breaking the law in the process?

    With all the lawyers gone there wouldn't be anyone to to stop them, point out that the rule of law in thi smatter says 'X' and therefore you cannot do 'Y' without being in violation fo the law. In a world without lawyers there would soon be anarchy and abuses of the law you can't even start to fathom....

    Hate the lawyers if you must... but realize they are very useful creatures too...

  4. #54
    The I's for intelligent silver trophy iTechno's Avatar
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    The whole page is coded so poorly it is unbelieveable, a lot of big companies don't seem to care whether there sites are valid, so many are unvalid with 100's of errors. I don't think they should be sued for it though.

  5. #55
    SitePoint Wizard drhowarddrfine's Avatar
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    being required by law
    It has not been determined that California has any law requiring this. It has been ruled there is no federal law.

  6. #56
    SitePoint Wizard drhowarddrfine's Avatar
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    The problems with lawyers arose when they were allowed to advertise and pursue clients. This wasn't allowed in the past. I have experience with being sued in my business. A secretary for a law firm in the mall would visit my place. Find an unhappy employee and give them "tips" on what to do so they would get fired in the "correct way". They would be referred to another lawyer who would sue for them getting fired.

    For example, (this was many years ago and wouldn't work today), for a female, have sex with your husband after being seen out with your boss. Then go to the police and cry rape. They couldn't detect the difference back then.

    NONE of my other similar businesses were ever sued for anything. ALL of the lawsuits at the first one were brought by the same lawyer every time. This lawyer was well known among others and the judges.

    My first lawyer would take cases and drag them on for years, collecting fees along the way. My current lawyer took over one of the cases and had it resolved in two hours, over the phone.

    My first lawyer charged $125 per hour. My current lawyer charged $300 per hour. (Five years ago). Guess which one is cheaper.

    My current lawyer tells me things like "Don't do that because you'll have to get d*&@n lawyers involved and you don't want scum like me doing this". He's disliked among his peers because he sues other lawyers. When I bring him things like, say, a will. He'll pass me off to one of his cheaper in-house lawyers and I only pay $125 or so.

    Of course, the old saying is "I hate all lawyers but my own", there are credible ones out there such as my own. But he's the only one I've met so far, and I've met a lot of them.

    Another story. I had a lawyer call me wondering if I remember renewing my drivers license 10 years ago at a particular location. 10 years ago! He's suing the city and state because someone fell and broke his hip then and he just now convinced him to sue even though the guy knew it was his own fault he tripped! The lawyer told me this!

    I was subpoened and, at the deposition, the other lawyers asked for this guys card. He didn't have any more and the other lawyers said it was because he was too busy chasing ambulances. This guy now has his face plastered over billboards and phone books like he was some kind of hero.

    I was in a car accident and received pamphlets in the mail wondering if I had been injured and needed a lawyer to pursue these people even though it was minor. We see these ads on TV all the time "Did you know xxx causes rashes? Hire us and get the money you deserve!"

    It just seems that business spends more time cowering in fear of being sued rather than pursuing products and ideas. There are way too many out of work lawyers. We should go back to NO advertising for lawyers (and doctors, too, for that matter).

  7. #57
    Non-Member lostseed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smittenbite
    i think that is really stupid to make a whole lawsuit out of especially since the person wants 'damages' to be paid which i believe there have been no 'damages', that is just rediculuous.
    Yeah I agree..

    What if a paralytic sued Ferrari for making cars that dont fit his needs, thats
    damaging too.

  8. #58
    SitePoint Zealot Octal's Avatar
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    There are some good arguments in here but also an equal amount of ignorant ones.

    First of all lets keep in mind that Section 508 (and the UK Disability Discrimination Act) only require websites to be compliant with Level 1 of W3C's Accessibility guidelines.

    W3C-WAG Level 1 is no where near good enough to make a site accessible.

    Making a standards compliant site is not only simple it is inexpensive. The real expense comes from converting an existing site to provide standards compliance.

    Now consider this. If Target loses, not only will they have to pay damages but they very well may have to make their site standards compliant anyway.

    Even if they win they still have to recover from the negative PR. So the cost of making changes to their site is probably cheaper than the potential cost of this lawsuit.

    As for the lawsuit. It's unfortunate that it has come this far and it is easy to see why it smacks of greed (we're reading about it from a news company) but that article does state that they were in negotiations prior to filing the suit but those negotiations broke down.

    At this point the student probably had no other choice, if he wanted to pursue it further he would have to file suit. How many of us can put our hand to our heart and truthfully say that if our rights had been violated we would not do the same?

    The UK Disability Discrimination Act covers it far better IMO:
    “The Disability Discrimination Act makes it unlawful for a service provider to discriminate against a disabled person by refusing to provide any service which it provides to members of the public.”

    "From 1st October 1999 a service provider has to take reasonable steps to change a practice which makes it unreasonably difficult for disabled people to make use of its services."

    “What services are affected by the Disability Discrimination Act? An airline company provides a flight reservation and booking service to the public on its website. This is a provision of a service and is subject to the act.”
    And with relevance to this topic:
    “For people with visual impairments, the range of auxiliary aids or services which it might be reasonable to provide to ensure that services are accessible might include ... accessible websites.
    Source: Webcredible

    Quote Originally Posted by copter
    Its not the sites fault people have bad eye sight, if you have bad eye sight you should expect it... its no ones fault and if the site owner wants his site for normal people then thats fair.
    That is the basis for discrimination.
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  9. #59
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    also in response to the opinion mentioned above about government in business, that is plan ignorance. without government regulation our economy would be a disaster. the government is there to protect consumers by providing competition and equality. every united states citizen has right to pursuit of happiness which includes shopping at stores which are all required to meet regulation set by the government so these disabled people can have a chance to live a normal life.
    What do you think capitalism is? The overall founding principle of the US economy was a free market without government interference. So who exactly are you calling ignorant?

    Whats ignorant is thinking disabled people are normal. They are not normal. Stop drinking the PC happy juice. The idea that everyone, regardless of their personal condition, has a "right" to the exact same life is one of the most ridiculous notions of the modern era. Here in the US we spend 10x more per year to send one disabled kid to a normal highschool than we spend on the smartest kid in that highschool. Then we wonder why our kids aren't as smart as those from other countries. Chances are the disabled kid probably doesn't even know the difference, its only so his parents can feel their kid is normal.

    Everyone is not the same. The world isn't some genetically engineered commune and we didn't all come from the same mold. People are different and they have different capabilities. Should grocery stores not put things on the top shelf because short people can't reach? Should the computer illiterate (perhaps illiterate because of a mental defect) sue websites for not having a brick and mortar presence?

    There is no right to shop online, there is no right to shop at Target. A business should strive to be accessible so that they can get more customers, but they should not be sued because someone is too lazy to shop somewhere else. In fact I'm willing to bet the guy could have spent 5 minutes and found a phone number and called and placed a phone order.

    The fact is Target, the company, is accessible. If you're blind you can go to the store, or order over the phone. If you're housebound you can order over the phone or via the Internet. If you're homeless with no phone or computer you can go to the store. Its unreasonable to expect all options to work for all people all of the time, but atleast one option should work for all people all of the time, and it does.
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  10. #60
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    That is the basis for discrimination.
    Don't confuse lack of accomodation with discrimination. The Target execs didn't wake up in the morning and think "We hate blind people, lets make things hard on them." Target didn't make a choice in this matter, the plaintiff did. He chose to try to blackmail Target for money and when that didn't work he sued them. The same way he could have chosen to shop elsewhere, or not shop online, or order over the phone.
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  11. #61
    SitePoint Addict smittenbite's Avatar
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    *sigh* ..*waits and see what happens in the lawsuit*
    nothing.

  12. #62
    SitePoint Wizard samsm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aspen
    The fact is Target, the company, is accessible. If you're blind you can go to the store, or order over the phone.
    I'm having a little trouble finding information on how to order goods from Target over the phone. Got a link or a number? edit... Found it.

    Here's the U.S. number:
    http://www.target.com/gp/browse.html...8&node=1041168

    And the Australian version: http://www.target.com.au/html/phoneorder/phoneorder.htm
    due to unprecedented demand, we are unable to take any phone orders at this time
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  13. #63
    SitePoint Zealot ngi112's Avatar
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    I agree with Aspen, really. It's not discriminating, it's reality.
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  14. #64
    SitePoint Zealot i-devs's Avatar
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    I'm amazed at some of the posts, from either side of the fence.

    I don't think any of us who are fortunate enough not to have to deal with a disability can really understand what it is like.

    As a designer, I wish greater and understandable standards could be set in this area. I started adding access keys, but then I learned that those same access keys might interfere with the key commands that are used in the screenreaders. And there aren't really any universal standards, although I did find a recommended standard for the UK.
    Unfortunately, unless things have changed since I last checked, it is very challenging for designers to really design with screenreaders in mind... unlike popular browsers, not only are they not free, they are quite costly.

    But adding ALT text and the like is easy, a no-brainer, and it also benefits search engines so smart designers should be doing this anyway.

    There are a lot of things that can be done to make things much more accessible and user friendly for everyone. I'm not blind but suffer from the same affliction that many designers suffer from, called high-res-big-monitoritis and some times, really late at night... or early in the morning, it is helpful to be able to scale the text larger. Yet this isn't possible on most sites.

    The web is still in its infancy, and it is probably impossible to develop a complete usable site today... but there is a lot that can easily be done and there is little reason not to, especially when nearly everything you do will also improve searchability... a whose client isn't interested in how search engines view their sites?

    Correct... the web was not made for blind people... the web is for everyone. The web is not a visual medium, it is becoming more of one, but the web is an information medium, some of which may be visual, but the majority of which can be communicated in text or speech.

    But lawsuit and everything else aside. Let's look at this from a business and marketing point of view. Target, Amazon, or any other company is missing a huge opportunity. In many ways, the web provides an opportunity for people with all kinds of disabilities... vision, motor skills, etc. to shop in a more convenient and friendly environment. Especially a general retailer like Target that can meet all kinds of product needs, creating a more accessible site could provide a smart business opportunity. From a number of different sources, it seems that the numbers of those with disabilities are somewhere around 20% or so of the population. Even if it is only 10%... if Target took a proactive stance to meet those needs, they would become the go to "location" for this target audience (no pun intended). Never mind the positive PR, especially if all of your competitors can't claim this. I have no doubt that the costs associated with meeting this need would be quickly recovered.

    And for those on the more cynical side of the fence, look at the bright side... with an alternative means, perhaps the laws could be changed and stores wouldn't have to devote as many parking spaces to those with disabilities so we could all park closer to the front door.
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  15. #65
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    Like i-devs, I'm a huge proponent of accessibility..

    however, the question still lies: why not shop at another online store?

  16. #66
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wwb_99
    Section 508 applies to government. Period. This is not to say one should make their sites intentionally unfriendly to those with special needs. But I would loath to see every site on the net be required to go through the necessary pain to meet 508.
    It's not section 508 or the Americans with Disabilities Act that this guy is suing under, it's a separate California state law.

  17. #67
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    The amount of misinformation in this thread is staggering!

    Quote Originally Posted by worldbuilder
    There are some things in this world that handicapped people just can't do. And those of us who are not handicapped shouldn't try to sugarcoat it for them. Blind people shouldn't drive. Deaf people shouldn't be record producers. And fat guys shouldn't coach sports. But I digress...
    Beethoven composed music and he was deaf. Should he never have tried?
    Quote Originally Posted by aspen
    What's next, the deaf suing the phone company?
    The deaf have TDD/TTY and relays for phone service. They're already covered, hence no lawsuits.
    Quote Originally Posted by benlowry
    The time & money spent making sites 'accessible' would be far better spent on:

    - Better accessibility software, which is a more achievable goal than making x,000,000,000 sites accessible, which is not an achievable goal.

    - Medical research. If I was blind or motor-impaired I'd rather I was fixed than 'the internet'. Being able to hear or navigate a page is not going to be anywhere near as satisfactory as walking/seeing/whatever unaided.

    How many billions have been spent on developing accessibility guidelines, laws, implementation etc?
    First, I love how you think that building an accessible website is such a daunting task. I guess I should charge a lot more than I do. Oh wait, it doesn't take more than a few minutes to make pages reasonably accessible to those with disabilities, so I can't charge that much more.

    And yes, better accessibility software and medical research into cures/improvements for these problems happen all the time. Lots of money is poured into it, but if I was blind I'd rather be able to get on with my day now rather than wait and hope that some doctor finds a way to help me out in my lifetime.

    Some of you guys who are just coming in to complain should stick around the accessibility forum and learn how easy it really is to make a site accessible.

  18. #68
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Totally amazing!

    The effort to build an accessible site is not great.
    Economically, you will find that if your site is easier to use for the disabled than a rival site of equal status, you can make more sales to the disabled.

    Being visually impaired is NOT a minority thing as one poster said. It is estimated that there are up to 10 million visually impaired americans. That's a lot of people to ignore - but do you code for browsers used by 5% of the users? or 2% ??
    http://www.afb.org/Section.asp?Secti...ocumentID=1529

    In the UK when the National Blind Association told several banks how bad their web sites were for blind people (yes, they are allowed to have bank accounts over here - some are even allowed to have jobs) the worst two banks promised to sort their sites in exchange for anonimity! Cos they were so embarassed at how bad they were.

    There are a lot of people posting here talking about building standards compliant sites, about not using tables for layout, about many accessiblity problems, and yet as soon as a case arises, many of you are up in arms saying its bad. From a totally selfish point of view, you should be saying "lots of new work making current sites accessible could be coming our way" (Not the correct attitude, but it's worth mentioning).

    8% of men are color blind - http://www.stlukeseye.com/Conditions/ColorBlindness.asp
    8% of users use Firefox, yet many people make a huge fuss about how we should code for firefox first as it is sooo important. What about letting users actually see the site clearly?

    Suing for damages after months of trying to perseude them to improve the site - what would have happened if the site had been improved within a short time? The owners would be saying look how nice we are to disabled people! As for the monetary gain side of things, that is the only awkward point. But it's getting the publicity,isn't it! You are all talking about it. Will you be next to be sued? Perhaps a little bit of prior planning (and aren't these tableless designs wonderful, and alt tags so important, as you keep telling us) and the problem will not arise. But you can mention it in your portfolio of course...

    Statements like what's a blind person doing using a computer are ridiculus. (I met a blind programmer several years ago for example.) Computers have made many things more widely available to the blind via screen readers. Shopping can be much easier for them via a well designed site. It's to the site owner's benefit to make it accessible to the blind!

  19. #69
    SitePoint Wizard
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    And for those of you who seem only to have read the headline, there is this quote from the article
    "But Baltimore-based plaintiffs' attorney Daniel Goldstein said the suit's larger goal is educating companies about Web site accessibility issues that can be fixed relatively inexpensively."

    try these links, as others are making the effort
    http://www.connsensebulletin.com/aol.html
    http://news.com.com/Travel+sites+agr...68.html?tag=nl

  20. #70
    SitePoint Evangelist Worldbuilder's Avatar
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    Vinnie,

    Sorry, at the time I couldn't come up with a better description of something a deaf person shouldn't do. Here's a better one. A deaf person shouldn't be an air traffic controller.

    But that's hardly the point. The point is simply that the masses are, and should be catered to in this world. It's only sensible. The good of the many, my friend. Oldest philisophical theory in the book...

    I would love nothing more than to see every single site (at least, major ones) be in the ballpark of accessible, but they shouldn't be sued if they're not. Gimme a break.

    And on top of that, I might add this to the gentleman suing... Dude, go find some other soapbox to climb on to. There's got to be something else better to complain about.


    Quote Originally Posted by vgarcia
    Some of you guys who are just coming in to complain should stick around the accessibility forum and learn how easy it really is to make a site accessible.
    Couldn't agree more about this, though. Making your site pass automated accessibility standards (at least) is S.I.M.P.L.E.

    Chris

  21. #71
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    Simple and easy, if they don't like it shop somewhere else. It's their choice on where they want to shop and if they don't like it why not shop somewhere else.
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  22. #72
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cj100
    Simple and easy, if they don't like it shop somewhere else. It's their choice on where they want to shop and if they don't like it why not shop somewhere else.
    The issue at hand here is that Target is breaking the law.

    And in general, it's illegal to discriminate aginst someone because of their handicap. What most web designers don't realize is that when they don't make their accessible they are doing just that, discriminating.

  23. #73
    Non-Member jake4974's Avatar
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    It's actually good that you brought up the whole Beethoven thing, Vinnie. Disabilities have a wonderful positive side effect of almost forcing a person to hone the abilities they do have. Beethoven "felt" music through vibrations and a wonderful innate mathematical ability (few of us, deaf or otherwise enjoy these abilities). By increasing "accessibility" we actually remove the driving motivation for this ability "honing", so it has a downside too.
    First, I love how you think that building an accessible website is such a daunting task.
    I haven't actually heard much mention concerning "building an accessible" websites in this post. There have been comments about the costs in terms of time and money of making a currently existing site more accessible.
    It is totaly and unarguably true that to produce a website that has good accessibility, with practice, takes a neglible amount of extra time over producing the exact same site with poor accessibility. IMO, the vast majority of inaccessible sites exist only because of laziness and ignorance.
    You know I have always found it very strange that if you divide the world into "normy and disabled" the proportion of people who believe that the accessibilty obsession has gotten way out of hand (and has some extremely questionable motivations sometimes, imo ) is astronomically higher amongst disabled people (who often are the only people to have seen this issue from both sides).
    Frankly, I think an unusually high percentage of "accessibility issues" unfortunately smack very loudly of PC drivel (caused by the "PC Happy Juice" LOL). On a more generalized level the idea of spending such a vastly higher proportion of our resources on a tiny proportion of the population is so patently ridiculous I have difficulty imaging what motivation, other than guilt and pity, would drive such unbelievable nonsense.
    An example regarding this exact phenomenon was brought up in regards to education. While I have some questions about the appropriateness of the wording, it brings up a very important point.
    In catering to the "low" end of a scale, we tend to eliminate any sort of encouragement/reward for the higher end. In the end this has the net effect that while the lower end is not as low, the higher end is not as high. Not having the high end makes you less competitive, less of a low end means you have less "baggage" in some situations, I would hazard a guess the net effect is very close to zero. This case does seem like an application of that mentality.
    I understand negotiations took place before the court case, but I have a feeling they involved the plaintiff trying to wrestle money out of Target. If they wouldn't budge on that, it was they who drove this case to suit. Big corporations like Target tend to try very hard not to take things to litigation, because litigation is basically a crap shoot.
    Should Target make their site more accessible? absolutely
    Should the plaintiff be awarded "undesignated damages"? Absolutely not. I actually think good old fashioned armed robbery has more honor than this type of blackmail nonsense.

  24. #74
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    Personally, I just think that this is a classic example that people suing people has gone too far, and that blind people are now trying to cash in on their disability by suing the big boys and hoping to get thousands of dollars.

    However, I do think that we, as webmasters, should put some more effort into making our sites accessible - often you can use Windows Narrator to see how your site is for screenreader users [or the alternative for your operating system]
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  25. #75
    SitePoint Wizard Rabies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stymiee
    And in general, it's illegal to discriminate aginst someone because of their handicap. What most web designers don't realize is that when they don't make their accessible they are doing just that, discriminating.
    It's a private business and they lose potential customers by not being accessible. That's their loss and their problem. I can see how all people regardless of race, religion, age or disability have the right to essential services. But Target is not an essential service. It's a retail business.

    Are higher end stores that sell $1000 shirts discriminating against the poor? Are restaurants required by law to sell vegetarian dishes?


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