SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    N.Ireland
    Posts
    1,046
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    If a site is inaccessible, who is to blame?

    If a site is inaccessible, who is to blame? If I design a site for a customer, advise him if I seeing wanting something which I know will cause problems, who is to blame in the hypothetical event that a disabled person takes the company to court? I would argue it's the company's fault, they own the site, they pay for it, is there even any legal obligation for me to follow accessibility guidelines?

  2. #2
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Salford / Manchester / UK
    Posts
    4,838
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    IANAL, but i think you may not be liable if you have specifically been told by the customer not to bother with making the site accessible (in which case i would keep a record of any verbal/email/written exchange on the matter, just in case).
    if, however, the subject of accessibility has never been raised, your customer trusts that you're doing the job "properly" and will probably sue you if he gets taken to court, as he thought you knew what you were doing.
    as i said, i have no hard evidence to support the above statements...it's mainly my gut feeling about it.
    re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
    [latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
    WaSP Accessibility Task Force Member
    splintered.co.uk | photographia.co.uk | redux.deviantart.com

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Thailand
    Posts
    4,811
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You're quite correct Redux. Although there have still been no DDA cases applied to wesites in the UK (and won't be until it comes in to full force), the first port of complaint will be the company owning the site (for the consumer). The company can then in turn make a complaint to the designer. If he has indemnified himself by making reservations clear, then that should be the end of it.

    I am speaking htpothetically, and case law may prove me wrong, but that would appear to be the normal course of action.

    Compare "sale of goods act". Person at point of sale is liable. If ever a shop says to you "you have to take it up with the distributer", they're talking bunk - throw the SoG act at them...
    ~The Artist Latterly Known as Crazy Hamster~
    922ee590a26bd62eb9b33cf2877a00df
    Currently delving into Django, GIT & CentOS

  4. #4
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Salford / Manchester / UK
    Posts
    4,838
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by TheOriginalH
    throw the SoG act at them...
    (fantasizes about going around to the various web authors around the university - who should be following my guidelines in the first place - and throwing a big hard-copy of all the W3C-WAI pages at them...)
    re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
    [latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
    WaSP Accessibility Task Force Member
    splintered.co.uk | photographia.co.uk | redux.deviantart.com

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    N.Ireland
    Posts
    1,046
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think this is something we should all consider seriously as none of us would want to be hit with a law suit. So do you think it would be best practice to advise every new customer of accessibility guidelines and leave it up to them to take heed?

  6. #6
    Incoherent drivel since 1975 Zopester's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    215
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    This is something I've thought long and hard about lately. I read http://www.diveintoaccessibility.org/ with great interest last year, and started to see the whole issue as a lot more important than previously.

    I don't bother informing clients of accessibility issues because I make damn sure there aren't any in the code I present. It isn't an option for me, it's a professional requirement.

    And let's face it, is it really that much extra work to incorporate accessible navigation/forms/tables/whatever? I've found my workload hasn't increased noticeably by adding these elements. But then, I start with the notion of building an accessible site, not adding accessible features at the end.

    Look at it this way: Accessibility. It's just good manners!

  7. #7
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Salford / Manchester / UK
    Posts
    4,838
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Zopester
    I don't bother informing clients of accessibility issues because I make damn sure there aren't any in the code I present. It isn't an option for me, it's a professional requirement.

    And let's face it, is it really that much extra work to incorporate accessible navigation/forms/tables/whatever? I've found my workload hasn't increased noticeably by adding these elements. But then, I start with the notion of building an accessible site, not adding accessible features at the end.
    if only most other web authors/developers/designers were of this opinion...*sigh*

    it's true, if you think of accessibility as an essential and ongoing part of the design process - rather than a "tacked on" thing at the end - it's not that much more work. retro-fitting existing, cumbersome design to be accessible is where the main problems always arise.

    i would mention accessibility to clients only when they are specifically requesting a certain functionality or feature which will have accessibility implications (e.g. "i want the site to be completely flash based", "can we have all our documents as pdfs", or "i really like this font...can you not make the whole page into a single graphic ? my nephew, who's 12 and a web designer, does it on his site...")
    re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
    [latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
    WaSP Accessibility Task Force Member
    splintered.co.uk | photographia.co.uk | redux.deviantart.com

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    N.Ireland
    Posts
    1,046
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I agree with you guys, now I have the know how I make all my sites as accessible as possible. I guess what I really meant is if a client wants something done which you consider to be a real accessibility hazard, would you inform him first?

  9. #9
    Incoherent drivel since 1975 Zopester's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    215
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    1. Inform
    2. Wait for response
    3. Slap on back, or slap in face, depending on answer to 2



    Yes, I'd inform...politely at first. But I'm in the enviable position of picking and choosing my clients, so if a client just *will not listen to reason*, as happens sometimes, I can walk away from the contract. Sometimes professional reputation is more important than cold hard cash.

    Now I'm not recommending this approach for everyone. But I've found it has worked to my advantage as people have discovered me by being "the one who turned away such-and-such" - in much the same way as the designer boutique who turned Madonna away.
    Recommended Reading:
    Why we won't help you - An article by Mark Pilgrim.

    http://www.zopester.com - Coming Soon!

  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    N.Ireland
    Posts
    1,046
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You see those ppl you turn away, you wouldn't mind sending them to me would you?!

  11. #11
    Incoherent drivel since 1975 Zopester's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    215
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It's hardly a torrent of em!!
    Recommended Reading:
    Why we won't help you - An article by Mark Pilgrim.

    http://www.zopester.com - Coming Soon!

  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Thailand
    Posts
    4,811
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Zopester
    1. Inform
    2. Wait for response
    3. Slap on back, or slap in face, depending on answer to 2



    Yes, I'd inform...politely at first. But I'm in the enviable position of picking and choosing my clients, so if a client just *will not listen to reason*, as happens sometimes, I can walk away from the contract. Sometimes professional reputation is more important than cold hard cash.

    Now I'm not recommending this approach for everyone. But I've found it has worked to my advantage as people have discovered me by being "the one who turned away such-and-such" - in much the same way as the designer boutique who turned Madonna away.
    Yup, that's how I'm working on the (albeit few) private jobs I'm taking on. I'm afraid on this occassion, the cusomer is not always right...

    So far I've only refused to work on one site (and they even offered to up the cash ). My old sites need revisiting, but all new ones are going for standards compliancy - simple as
    ~The Artist Latterly Known as Crazy Hamster~
    922ee590a26bd62eb9b33cf2877a00df
    Currently delving into Django, GIT & CentOS

  13. #13
    Currently Occupied; Till Sunda Andrew-J2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    London
    Posts
    2,475
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Zopester
    1. Inform
    2. Wait for response
    3. Slap on back, or slap in face, depending on answer to 2



    Yes, I'd inform...politely at first. But I'm in the enviable position of picking and choosing my clients, so if a client just *will not listen to reason*, as happens sometimes, I can walk away from the contract. Sometimes professional reputation is more important than cold hard cash.

    Now I'm not recommending this approach for everyone. But I've found it has worked to my advantage as people have discovered me by being "the one who turned away such-and-such" - in much the same way as the designer boutique who turned Madonna away.
    This is very true, I had to walk away from a client offering a lot of money for a extranet project management suite I built for them, as sketch said the customer is not always right. Funny thing was they said it was too complex when all I did was add a few blank menu links to give them a feel, for when they come to customize it for there own use and they still moaned. I did learn my lesson though, take money upfront!


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •