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Thread: Breaking News: Blind shoppers win OK to sue Target

  1. #1
    WebProWorld MVP Webnauts's Avatar
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    Breaking News: Blind shoppers win OK to sue Target

    A judge rules that the retailer needs to stand trial for having a Web site that is insufficiently accessible.:

    Court Rules Against Target in Web Site Accessibility Lawsuits
    Advocates for Web Access For Blind Pass Legal Hurdle - WSJ.com
    Blind shoppers win OK to sue Target

    My sites are accessible. How about yours?
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  2. #2
    WebProWorld MVP kgun's Avatar
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    Re: Breaking News: Blind shoppers win OK to sue Target

    John, much work ahead for Lawyers

    What about the streets in New York and the 9 million bicycles in Beijing ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Webnauts View Post
    My sites are accessible. How about yours?
    Do you wan't to sue my affilliate providers. None of them care about valid and / or accessible code as far as I know.

    That does not imply that I advice ...

    Quote from the song above:
    "Don't call me a lier, just believe everything that I say"
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  3. #3
    WebProWorld MVP wige's Avatar
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    Re: Breaking News: Blind shoppers win OK to sue Target

    So, who thinks it is time for an "accessibility certified" sticker for people to put on their web sites? Showing that the site has been tested to be fully functional when rendered by a screen reader, color-blind users have no detriment, and users are able to resize text effectively. Would be a heck of a lot more meaningful than those W3C valid seals, would attract an additional niche of customers, would help sites stand out against competitors, and might even keep the site from being sued...

    Even having a simple standard would be helpful. I know most of the requirements of 501, but to ensure compliance you almost have to have a web designing lawyer go over the site double checking everything. For example "full keyboard compatibility" is not something I ever heard of until reading the linked articles, and I still have no idea what it means.
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    WebProWorld MVP kgun's Avatar
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    Re: Breaking News: Blind shoppers win OK to sue Target

    I think most of the lawyers will lag the technological evloution and are as such comparable to those with the intention of suing Google for indexing content on their sites that could have been blocked in robots.txt and / or .htaccess.

    Imagine a multidestination link with, a text box, a video, related sites, all opening in new windows simultaneously. Then combine these links with links from more than one soure depending on content, that is sematics. The combinations are endlesss.

    Related post:
    SEO content / links: XML driven sites, Web 1 and Web 2.

    With an exponentional growth of sites and pages on the web there should be no problems to find jobs for lawyers. Should we all reeducate ourself from webmasters, marketing consutants, designers, programmers etc. to lawyers? There are simply not enough lawyers in the world to cover the potential lawsuits.

    Well-formed, valid and accessible code should be implemented where you know how to and have time to do it with no additional costs. The motive of online business is to maximize profit where one element is cost. In the digital age, time is definitely money.

    I prefer freedom to create good content with the simplest possible model and that is not always unidirectional links produced by (X)HTML markup.

    Note this was not an argument against valid and accessible markup, since my standpoint should be clear on that subject.

    Scroll through the posts if you are in doubt.

    Here is a standard.

    How many follow that standard?

    Note: A free maximum can not be lower than a restricted. The highest mountain in the world mesured from sea level is Mount Everest. If you are restricted to Europe, it is Mont Blanc.

    Conclusion:
    Ceteris paribus, free profit maximization compared to one where you are restricted to make your site well-formed, valid and accessible can never be higher if you take additional time costs into account. Note that I wrote ceteris paribus, so other indirect effects like a better page etc. that surfers will vist and link to more often are ruled out.
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    WebProWorld MVP Webnauts's Avatar
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    Re: Breaking News: Blind shoppers win OK to sue Target

    Quote Originally Posted by wige View Post
    So, who thinks it is time for an "accessibility certified" sticker for people to put on their web sites? Showing that the site has been tested to be fully functional when rendered by a screen reader, color-blind users have no detriment, and users are able to resize text effectively. Would be a heck of a lot more meaningful than those W3C valid seals, would attract an additional niche of customers, would help sites stand out against competitors, and might even keep the site from being sued...

    Even having a simple standard would be helpful. I know most of the requirements of 501, but to ensure compliance you almost have to have a web designing lawyer go over the site double checking everything. For example "full keyboard compatibility" is not something I ever heard of until reading the linked articles, and I still have no idea what it means.
    We have no seals on our site, but we did it fully accessible! We don't only meet the section 508 requirements, but also Priority 3 (AAA) of the W3C/WAI, and above all that we developed hacks to make our site even more accessible and usable for our visitors with any kind of disabilities.

    I do not understand what your problem is.

    Just remember, that what happen is just the beginning. Stay tuned.
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  6. #6
    WebProWorld MVP kgun's Avatar
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    Re: Breaking News: Blind shoppers win OK to sue Target

    Quote Originally Posted by kgun View Post
    Conclusion:
    Ceteris paribus, free profit maximization compared to one where you are restricted to make your site well-formed, valid and accessible can never be higher if you take additional time costs into account. Note that I wrote ceteris paribus, so other indirect effects like a better page etc. that surfers will vist and link to more often are ruled out.
    That was written in a hurry. It should of course be:
    Conclusion:
    Ceteris paribus, a free profit maximum can, compared to one where you are restricted to make your site well-formed, valid and accessible, that is additional (time) costs are added, never be lower. In short, the free maxium is higher than the restricted. Note that I wrote ceteris paribus, so other indirect effects like a better page etc. that surfers will vist and link to more often, are ruled out.

    Side note:
    There may as with a company polluting the environments be an undesired difference between the market solution and the solution for the company. To restore this imbalance, the polluting company should either fix their machinery or pay a tax to compensate for the indirect negative effect on the environment. Can accessibility issues be compared to undesired pollution from production? How should such a tax be implemented? Is the only soulution to make "all" sites accessible? Where should that be implemented? In the USA or globally? What about an American company hosting their site in faraway land?

    In an ideal world, the sites that are not accessible to blind people could pay a tax. The income from this tax should be recycled back to various improvements for blind people. What about other disabilities? I wish lawyers and lawmakers a happy prosperous future.

    I watched the news on Cnn yesterday:

    Summary (mainly for eCommerce sites):
    • Blind people can still shop in the (real) stores.
    • Should the same law be implemented for real and virtual stores?
    • Estimate: On average it will cost $90 000 to upgrade an eCommerce site to be accessible for blind people.
    • The story was, as indicated in this post's title about Target
    • They were not afraid of going to court.
    P.S.: IMO The cost of $90 000 is a very rude average. The standard deviation (variation around the average) should be fairly large.

    Large companies with large resources, like Amazon, eBay etc should voluntarily make their sites accessible to people with all types of disabilities. Can a man from Norway say should to large foreign companies? Don't sue me for moralizing, I am from Western Norway where that is usual

    There is only one group of people that are able to square the circle (use page search on the page - (CTRL + F) + KW 'impossible') aided by ruler and compass, lawyers. Lawyers, don't touch my circles.
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  7. #7
    WebProWorld MVP wige's Avatar
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    Re: Breaking News: Blind shoppers win OK to sue Target

    My problem or issue is simply that it is hard to keep on top of accessibility issues as the technology changes, and the relevant laws also change.Being a lone webmaster responsible for running a massive web site, and not having any type of testing resource to find out if my site meets the requirements makes it, challenging to say the least.

    I have tested my site to ensure it is functional and usable with screen readers, and have run the site through various tests trying to determine it meets the requirements I know about. However, there is no recognized, authoritative group that you can have check a web site and say either "Ok, this site does what is necessary to be accessible" or "You need to do A, B and C to be accessible." I can get the site audited by industry and consumer recognized privacy groups, security analysts, but not accessibility auditors.

    If these groups want to sue sites that aren't accessible enough, shouldn't they also create or endorse an organization that reviews sites to either verify sites are compliant, or determine the steps needed to become compliant?
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