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  1. #176
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benlowry
    I don't think the solution is html, it doesn't matter if every page I or anyone else writes from this day forward is wai 1/2/3 compliant, that ship sailed 20 billion pages ago.

    Better assistive software would have more of an effect in the immediate term, and better treatment in the long term.
    so hang on: the solution is not to do what you should already have been doing for the last...hmmm...7 years, and which does not require an excessive amount of work (for at least basic single A compliance) on top of what's already being done on the part of the developer...no....it's changing all of the current assistive technology to be smarter (in a very fictitious way...have a go at running an OCR on badly pixelated text on a patterned background, for instance) so you as a developer can just forget about the issues and carry on simply sticking images and such in your markup? i see...
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  2. #177
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rushiku
    Does anyone else here remember a time before automatic doors, ramps and wheelchair accessible bathroom stalls?
    paraphrasing some of the views here, the conversation at the time probably went along the lines of

    "yeah, can wheelchairs not be made with tank tracks and engineered so they can climb stairs? why should we install ramps? or, if they swallow their pride, they can call our porter who will carry them in..."

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  3. #178
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    I'm not saying it's difficult to make a page compliant, I'm saying it's too late.

    Are you suggesting it's more efficient to change html, conveniently ignoring or overlooking the billions of pages that date back as far as the early/mid 90's, compared to the small number of programs that interpret it?

    I did not say OCR would work all the time, but would it work enough of the time to bother adding it? Or should it just be assumed that because it's not going to work all the time, it's not worth adding?

    If people can't see a road sign because of a tree you cut the tree down, you don't change the road signs all over the country.

  4. #179
    Guru Meditation Error gnarly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benlowry
    I don't think the solution is html, it doesn't matter if every page I or anyone else writes from this day forward is wai 1/2/3 compliant, that ship sailed 20 billion pages ago.
    I get it now. You're playing devil's advocate. You can't possibly believe that, can you?

    Quote Originally Posted by benlowry
    Better assistive software would have more of an effect in the immediate term, and better treatment in the long term.
    Aye, better software would be helpful, but it can do a much better job if we fill in all of those little alt and title attributes can't it? What is it, an extra five to ten seconds per element?

    Sorry, but your entire attitude smells of laziness. It doesn't affect you so you can't be bothered to go the extra mile, in order to make life easier for others.
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  5. #180
    Guru Meditation Error gnarly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benlowry
    I'm not saying it's difficult to make a page compliant, I'm saying it's too late.
    It's too late!? Remember, this is a very young industry. Anything could happen

    Yes, the tools need improvement (CMS and Dreamweaver type tools aswell as assistive software), as does education on the matter, but there is still hope.
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  6. #181
    Guru Meditation Error gnarly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benlowry
    Google image search is an excellent example of interpeting what an image is. If Google can determine that
    is Susie Asian Elephant then assistive software should be able to make similar conclusions.
    You're right. On the other hand, Google has several multi-million dollar datacentres and hundreds of millions of dollars to throw at this task. Most screenreaders only have a comparitively low-powered PC. Secondly, in my admittedly limited experience, OCR software really struggles with anything other than black on white (or a similarly massive contrast difference).
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  7. #182
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benlowry
    Are you suggesting it's more efficient to change html, conveniently ignoring or overlooking the billions of pages that date back as far as the early/mid 90's, compared to the small number of programs that interpret it?
    who is talking about making all of the legacy content accessible? target's home page and most, if not all, its top level pages aren't from the early/mid90's. they're updated on a regular basis TODAY.

    I did not say OCR would work all the time, but would it work enough of the time to bother adding it? Or should it just be assumed that because it's not going to work all the time, it's not worth adding?
    but you're suggesting relying on it. letting developers completely free to do what the heck they please, and then always claim "well, make your software better to deal with MY content".

    Quote Originally Posted by benlowry
    If people can't see a road sign because of a tree you cut the tree down, you don't change the road signs all over the country.
    in this case the tree is something that impedes people from seeing the sign, right? an unnecessary barrier that can easily be removed, right? hmm...alt attributes...
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  8. #183
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    Just some scattered thoughts after reading this thread:

    I wouldn't be surprised if in the end it turns out that the CA law is considered to have been intended to cover physical access to real locations and not virtual online business locations.

    Somebody in the thread mentioned that blind people pay taxes for roads that they cannot drive on... There are many benefits to having roads beyond being able to drive on them yourself. Many people pay taxes for roads who are not blind and do not drive on them, but they still receive benefits by the roads being there.

    It's not clear exactly what kind of alt-tag that the plaintiffs are asking for. Would something as simple as "product image" or "link to contact page" in the alt-tag have been adequate?

    To me, "full and equal" access means having the same exact of something being presented to you. Wheelchair ramps, railings, wider aisles, handicapped parking and etc all help to enable physically disabled people to access the same exact physical locations as non physically disabled people. With Target.com, and really any website for that matter, presenting the same exact data to every website visitor - wouldn't that be considered "full and equal" access since it is exactly the same for everyone? Wouldn't it be more the visually disabled person's responsibility to be able to "process" the data that is presented to them (the same data that is presented to everyone else) whether they do it with the aid of a screen reading program or with help from another person?

    I think making it easier for everyone to use a website, disabled or not - is good business sense and really just a good thing in general to do. If adding alt text to an image would help a business reach more customers, they really should do it. I don't feel that it should be mandated by the government, though.

    Rather than being seen as a separate store couldn't Target.com be considered one of many ways to access and purchase products that are sold by Target? If a disability makes you unable to shop for Target products using a specific method, then other methods are available that do make this possible. Does Target offer telephone ordering?

    I've gotta add in here somewhere that I've never really been impressed with Target.com's product descriptions on the website. The descriptions usually seem overly brief with not enough detail...

    I'm not sure here, but I am guessing that alt-text not being setup for images causes screen reading programs to not be able to tell the visitor where those images are linked to. Is that correct?

    Why wouldn't the screen reading program prefetch page titles of linked documents that don't have alt-tags present? If no title is present, then the screen reader would read the url which may have location identifying info. Or maybe an excerpt from the linked page...

    How about video games? Would the CA law be applicable in regards to online games? How could all games published possibly offer "full and equal" access? No matter what is done, there is no way many games could be accessed by visually disabled people in a way that is "full and equal" to everyone else. Some could not even be remotely similar.

    If alt tags are required in all images, who gets to say what text within the alt tags is okay and which text is not?

    Let's not forget that there are some people who cannot figure out how to use computer and Internet technology no matter how easy and how many times you show them. Disabled or not. What is to be done for them?

    What about web services that are completely impossible to provide online to those who are blind? Would any sites for which it is impossible to not provide visually be required to shut down, because people with vision can view them than those who are blind cannot?

    My nieces use a website where they dress dolls by clicking on items of clothing and dragging those items onto the model on the page. I'm sure the site sells memberships, dolls, advertising or something.... How could that site be made in order to work for someone who cannot view it?

    Should the law force some businesses to comply and make exceptions for others?

    Maybe in a utopia everything will be the same for everyone, but it really doesn't seem practial or possible. This is a much larger issue than just alt-tags.

    Definitely a complicated issue. I can understand the many strong feelings on the topic. It will be interesting to see the results of the suit.

    In any case, reading through this thread has made me a bit more mindful of how I design my own sites. I certainly want as many people as possible to be able to use my sites and wouldn't mind changing things a bit in order to benefit my users, increase my viewship and benefit my business. But I wouldn't want the government telling me what, when and how.
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  9. #184
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnarly
    You're right. On the other hand, Google has several multi-million dollar datacentres and hundreds of millions of dollars to throw at this task. Most screenreaders only have a comparitively low-powered PC. Secondly, in my admittedly limited experience, OCR software really struggles with anything other than black on white (or a similarly massive contrast difference).
    also, google doesn't actually understand what's going on on the page. it guesses that, because the text comes right after an image without any clue as to its content, it probably relates to it. that is a huge generalisation. and funnily enough, this approach would completely fail on things like specifically those image based buttons on the target homepage's left-hand side, because...there is NO TEXT next to them. google's algorythm could probably work out these images are about "target" and "shopping", but nothing that gives the information of what they actually are.
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  10. #185
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john2k
    To me, "full and equal" access means having the same exact of something being presented to you. Wheelchair ramps, railings, wider aisles, handicapped parking and etc all help to enable physically disabled people to access the same exact physical locations as non physically disabled people. With Target.com, and really any website for that matter, presenting the same exact data to every website visitor - wouldn't that be considered "full and equal" access since it is exactly the same for everyone?
    no, images without alt attributes, reliance on javascript, etc ... all those are the exact equivalent of steps instead of ramps, doors that are too tight, lifts that are too small. heck, why can't the wheelchair user dismount the wheelchair, fold it up, lie on the floor until they get to their floor in the lift, crawl out, etc? they're being provided with the same service, after all...

    I'm not sure here, but I am guessing that alt-text not being setup for images causes screen reading programs to not be able to tell the visitor where those images are linked to. Is that correct?
    yes. it can tell them the url it points to, but the database driven link locations aren't helpful or informative. but more specifically, it's not just where the link leads...if you've locked information into a purely visual presentation, there's nothing to tell them about all the special offers etc...nowhere in the current homepage's markup does it say, in text, "save 10%-20% on over 1700 infant items" for instance. somebody who can see the image is given information, somebody who can't is not informed at all. so, you're not providing the same service to everybody.

    Why wouldn't the screen reading program prefetch page titles of linked documents that don't have alt-tags present?
    because their page titles aren't any better either. see for instance the button on the left "Bed + Bath - Free shipping on a splashy selection". page title once you click through is "Target : Home : Bedding".

    on that page then, there's a large banner at the top "free shipping on select fashion bedding". that text does not appear anywhere in the markup either. etc etc etc

    How about video games? Would the CA law be applicable in regards to online games? How could all games published possibly offer "full and equal" access? No matter what is done, there is no way many games could be accessed by visually disabled people in a way that is "full and equal" to everyone else. Some could not even be remotely similar.
    no, this is as idiotic as the "next blind people will sue because they can't drive". but, wouldn't you believe it, there are deaf gamers http://www.deafgamers.com/ for instance...

    If alt tags are required in all images, who gets to say what text within the alt tags is okay and which text is not?
    whoever is called in to make the accessibility audit. common sense is a good start. does the text convey the same meaning as the image? in my above examples, the image of the text "free shipping on select fashion bedding" should have an alt that says...exactly that "free shipping on select fashion bedding". we're not talking about long description of images (which would ideally be provided already, as part of the product description anyway), but simply about finding an equivalent that fulfills the same purpose. for instance, say i'm looking for a baby seat, but i want to ensure that it's a certain colour (because my sighted partner has specifically asked for it, or it's a present...whatever...nobody come back with "what's the difference to you if you can't see it anyway"), and the only way colour choices are presented to the user is by using images without alt attribute... (choose your color: image image image image ... hmmm ... helpful).

    Let's not forget that there are some people who cannot figure out how to use computer and Internet technology no matter how easy and how many times you show them. Disabled or not.
    not. are they registered as officially disabled? is it a permanent situation that they cannot change?

    What about web services that are completely impossible to provide online to those who are blind? Would any sites for which it is impossible to not provide visually be required to shut down, because people with vision can view them than those who are blind cannot?
    of course not...same as "blind people want to drive".

    My nieces use a website where they dress dolls by clicking on items of clothing and dragging those items onto the model on the page. I'm sure the site sells memberships, dolls, advertising or something.... How could that site be made in order to work for someone who cannot view it?
    a blind girl may not be able to play the dress-up game, but shere's nothing that should stop her from buying membership, reading the latest news, etc.

    an example i came across a while ago: a web site containing course information for a dentistry course. now...why should that ever be made available to blind people? they won't practice dentistry? well, funnily enough, that particular university had a blind PhD student that needed to access all the theory for his final doctorate. they did make the fairly simple adjustments, wisely deciding not to risk embarassment and potential legal action, after they were informed of the problem.

    Should the law force some businesses to comply and make exceptions for others?
    reason will always govern these cases. that's for a judge and jury to decide. it's not an instant fine kind of situation.

    Maybe in a utopia everything will be the same for everyone, but it really doesn't seem practial or possible. This is a much larger issue than just alt-tags.
    yes, it's an issue of misunderstanding what users with disabilities want. it's not about a utopian "everything will be the same", but "nobody will be unnecessarily impeded". there IS a difference.
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  11. #186
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redux
    nowhere in the current homepage's markup does it say, in text, "save 10%-20% on over 1700 infant items" for instance.
    one for "google will save us all": do a search for
    save "infant items"
    (and target's site is high profile, this image is on the front page, so it should have been indexed over and over by now)

    http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en...nfant+items%22
    http://images.google.co.uk/images?hl...ant%20items%22
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  12. #187
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    Quote Originally Posted by redux
    who is talking about making all of the legacy content accessible? target's home page and most, if not all, its top level pages aren't from the early/mid90's. they're updated on a regular basis TODAY.
    Accessibility requirements weren't created for Target, and will continue to exist after Target complies or is found to not need to comply.

    Alt attributes on images are only a part of the problem with the Target site, half their navigation seems to be image maps. Title and/or alt attributes no their links/areas would probably do more for them then on the image tags.

    but you're suggesting relying on it. letting developers completely free to do what the heck they please, and then always claim "well, make your software better to deal with MY content".
    No, I'm saying make your software deal better with the bulk of the internet. How html is being written today or tomorrow is improving, but when there's a history of poor - or pre - standard code, it's just a drop in the ocean.

    Regarding image/context analysis ... I did not say it would be accurate all the time. It would however have more of a chance of accuracy than doing nothing at all. If OCR + contextual guesses only worked 0.1% of the time that's still a couple hundred million pages that are suddenly more accessible, by changes to one (or a few) programs.

    John2k's suggestion of prefetching the page title is an excellent one also, but like you pointed out with the Target site that is an abused tag.

    Quote Originally Posted by gnarly
    Sorry, but your entire attitude smells of laziness. It doesn't affect you so you can't be bothered to go the extra mile, in order to make life easier for others.
    You're trolling again.

  13. #188
    Guru Meditation Error gnarly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benlowry
    Alt attributes on images are only a part of the problem with the Target site, half their navigation seems to be image maps. Title and/or alt attributes no their links/areas would probably do more for them then on the image tags.
    Exactly. But yet you seem to be suggesting that they might aswell not bother?

    Quote Originally Posted by benlowry
    You're trolling again.
    I'm sorry you think that. That's just the impression your posts have given me.

    That said though, it may well have been coloured by some of the other posts on the thread. Unfortunately, it makes for a really depressing read and it gets me a little bit wound up - as you may have noticed. The amount of web designers and developers who aren't/weren't even aware that assistive technology even exists is incredible, as is the attitude that the web just isn't meant for the disabled. I apologise if I've offended you or tarred you with the wrong brush.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnarly
    Exactly. But yet you seem to be suggesting that they might aswell not bother?
    They should bother, but so should the programmers writing the assistive software.

    Target can only do more for their own site, overall assistive software could be improved to do more for many sites, including Target's, which would make Target's issue redundant and more make a million other sites more accessible.

    That *snip* brush.
    Yes, the amount of developers who don't know much about development is sad. However, most of the work I do validates as xhtml transitional, and passes (aside from 'warnings') wai 1.

    I don't mind that you argue against what I argue for, that's what debate/discussion is about. I do mind when you say stuff that attacks me personally, not my arguments.

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    SitePoint Guru LinhGB's Avatar
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    Whether the blind association wins this case or not, Target will be the loser. It's pretty bad to be known as being unfriendly to the disabled and wasting truckload of money on poorly designed websites.
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    Quote Originally Posted by benlowry
    Better assistive software would have more of an effect in the immediate term, and better treatment in the long term.

    Why anyone would decide the solution is the billions of pages instead of the very small number of programs that interprets the pages is beyond me.
    Because better software to assist existing pages needs some kind of code to READ!



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  17. #192
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    Just wondering: how different is the situation of Target's website compared to their competitors' websites?

    I'm a complete outsider, mind you, I don't even know who Target's competitors are
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    Web readers read the ALT text out to the person listening to the web site. The web reader can't read the actual picture.

    A blind person has every right to be able to have their computer read out the content of web pages for them and to then be able to interact with the page using voice or keyboard.
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    The really stupid thing about this discussion is that the same people who are arguing against accessiblity are probably the same people who would whine about poor search engine placement. The basics that are good for accessiblity (e.g. alt text and alternatives to image maps) is also very important for SEO.
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    I'm the only one really arguing against it, and I'm not arguing against accessibility, I'm arguing against the band-aid "solution" used to achieve it.

    I didn't actually know people still used image maps, I think Target's the first site I've seen in years that does.

    I thought search engines stopped placing significant relevance on alt tags some time ago, round about the time everyone discovered they mattered and stuffed them full of keywords?

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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy KLB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benlowry
    I didn't actually know people still used image maps, I think Target's the first site I've seen in years that does.
    I actually use a client side image map on the element pages of my periodic table on my chemistry site. I wouldn't call it critical navigational element and I don't really know how often it really gets used. I did it years ago as a simple exercise in creating as complex and compact an image map as I could (156x127 with 110 links). It was mostly done for the wow factor and nobody would really miss anything if they didn't know it was supposed to be there in the first place.
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    SitePoint Guru aamonkey's Avatar
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    I'm not trying to argue that web-accessibility programming is hard, or that blind people should/should not surf the net, or that we should spend $$$ on finding cures to blindness instead of fixing web issues....

    however....

    I don't get it....
    first paragraph of the article originally posted:
    When it comes to shopping, for example, the 24-year-old college student doesn't have to get to and navigate brick-and-mortar stores or ask employees for help. Rather, with the help of a keyboard and screen-reading software, he can navigate a Web site and make his purchase.
    So....by my count a blind person has to have 1 or 2 people help him/her shop in a "brick & mortar" store--one to drive him/her, and one to tell explain the products to him/her (last I knew not a single product at any Target had any Braille on it).
    This is completely legal.
    But now someone is suing because it takes 1 person to explain the products on the online store to them (because they can't "see" the alt tags and whatnot)?
    This is bordering on silly.

    Think about it for a minute.

    If this lawsuit wins, what is next?

  23. #198
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    Quote Originally Posted by aamonkey
    If this lawsuit wins, what is next?
    Next people will continue to expect disability rights to be upheld. Decades ago people made similar arguments about wheelchair ramps in stores and about stopping people from working office jobs because they had physical impairments. Now don't so much as blink if someone in a wheelchair is working at a store or in an office. There are certainly suits that cross the line and times when its not reasonable to expect to be able to do things with a disability but I for one would say this is not such a time. If we protect people's rights to access a store or an office why wouldn't we do the same for a major retailer's web presence?
    - Ted S

  24. #199
    Level 8 Chinese guy Archbob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KLB
    The really stupid thing about this discussion is that the same people who are arguing against accessiblity are probably the same people who would whine about poor search engine placement. The basics that are good for accessiblity (e.g. alt text and alternatives to image maps) is also very important for SEO.
    Actually, I am very happy with my search engine placements and my website would not be that "accessible".

    And no, he isn't the only one thats argued against the accessibility.
    Without vision, your always going to have trouble reading an online site no matter how good a site is or how good your screenreader is. A blind person generally needs an assisstant to help him shop at a store. Is it too much to have that same assistant help him navigate a webpage and buy a product?
    And about javascript. Javascript has many uses, do you really expect developers to stop using it because blind people can't see it through a screen reader? There are many online technologies and many more to come, and some of them will require sight to experience.

    As much as you guys deny it, computer and the WWW in general is a visual medium and without sight, you will not be able to fully access it.

  25. #200
    SitePoint Zealot icantsurf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waraas
    I still dont get it. How is an ATL-text going to be usfull so someone that cant see it? This is liking sueing McDonalds cas there hot chocolate is too hot! They will never win...
    Blind people use aural and brail devices for there computing and internet needs. They can 'see it' by touch and sound. Just like your browser hides tags so does their touch/text based browser.

    BTW McDonalds lost that case.

    There are two ways to make a law. Legislation, and Tort. This suit is the quickest and most effective way to make certain legal action is taken. If this fails then we get into the lengthy and tax revenue exhaustive matter of legislation.

    Quite frankly, this is something that Target could use to it's advantage as a PR triumph. The smart thing to do would to be to hire the guy suing on as a consultant, to help develop a more accessable website.

    Taget has a responsibility to it's customers so far as not to piss them off, and by the way obey the law. The question is does the law extend to web usage.
    Sig under construction. . .
    please keep checking back to see if I update it.


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