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http://www.dmnews.com/cms/dm-news/legal-privacy/38198.html
"A federal district court judge ruled last week that a retailer can be sued if its Web site is inaccessible to the blind.

The ruling was issued Sept. 6 and allows the case brought by the National Federation of the Blind against Minneapolis, MN-based Target Corp to move forward.


The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, charged that Target's Web site ( www.target.com) is inaccessible to the blind, and therefore violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, the California Unruh Civil Rights Act, and the California Disabled Persons Act."

Thoughts? ;)
 

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Jasonda said:
Thoughts? ;)
I think it's a complete load of crap. The ability to use a website is not a basic human right that needs protecting by law enforcement.

What next? A bill requiring all sites be compatible with Netscape 3.0 and download within 1.5 minutes on a 14.4k modem, and don't tax the 486 running the web browser?

Okay so the situations aren't quite the same, but I still think the government has no place enforcing web design standards. They have a legal obligation to make their own information sites widely accessible, but that doesn't mean everyone else has to adhere to the same standard.

A corporation as large as Target should make their website compliant to accessibility standards as a common courtesy, but that is a separate issue from the law.
 

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Whoa... I could be wrong, but I'm guessing that most sites aren't very accessible to the blind.

The American's with Disabilities act is taken pretty seriously, when it comes to business. I knew of a bar-owner who had a second floor sitting empty because in order to open it up he had to make it wheelchair accessible, which meant spending $40k on an elevator. The return on investment didn't justify the expense, so it sat empty.

I don't think this is an issue about web standards but more an issue about how people are supposed to conduct business here in the states. Here's some info on the Act itself:

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a Federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in everyday activities, such as buying an item at the store, going to the movies, enjoying a meal at a local restaurant, exercising at the health club, or having the car serviced at a local garage.

http://www.ada.gov/business.htm
 

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Solmu said:
I think it's a complete load of crap. The ability to use a website is not a basic human right that needs protecting by law enforcement.

What next? A bill requiring all sites be compatible with Netscape 3.0 and download within 1.5 minutes on a 14.4k modem, and don't tax the 486 running the web browser?

Okay so the situations aren't quite the same, but I still think the government has no place enforcing web design standards. They have a legal obligation to make their own information sites widely accessible, but that doesn't mean everyone else has to adhere to the same standard.

A corporation as large as Target should make their website compliant to accessibility standards as a common courtesy, but that is a separate issue from the law.
No, I think you're comparision is just about right.
Target is NOT preventing anyone from visiting thier website, the disabled should be responsible for having software that allows them to view / hear / read whatever content the owner makes available to the public.
Where is the responsibility of the blind here?
 

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They can get a translator that reads the website. I can see why they are suing in CA. This is the land of lawsuits.
 

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TahoeTomahawk said:
Target is NOT preventing anyone from visiting thier website, the disabled should be responsible for having software that allows them to view / hear / read whatever content the owner makes available to the public.
According to the article Target's website doesn't have the proper ALT tags setup that that kind of software so highly relies on, and a few other (harder to fix) issues.

Still, the cost of such support to small businesses is just too much to bear. In theory I have no problem with Target being held to a higher standard (because they have the money to afford it), except that I'm not thrilled about the idea of different laws for rich and poor (so to speak).

This kind of thing just encourages companies not to offer services, because they run the risk that everything they do becomes a liability.
 

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Solmu said:
According to the article Target's website doesn't have the proper ALT tags setup that that kind of software so highly relies on, and a few other (harder to fix) issues.

Still, the cost of such support to small businesses is just too much to bear. In theory I have no problem with Target being held to a higher standard (because they have the money to afford it), except that I'm not thrilled about the idea of different laws for rich and poor (so to speak).

This kind of thing just encourages companies not to offer services, because they run the risk that everything they do becomes a liability.
There are so many HTML screen scrapers out there that do just fine. I don't think website owners should have to cater to every single software vendor who creates software for the disabled. If that was the case, then there would be only a single software vendor since no other softwares could do a 'better job'.

I just don't buy the whole thing.. it's rediculous. Should we all create our web pages so that all the content fits on a single page without the need to scroll, after all, someone may have lost thier index finger.
 

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Aargh. This case reminds me of one that happened a few years ago in central coast California. A guy in a wheelchair went around and sued a whole bunch of restaurants and wine-tasting rooms because they weren't properly ADA-compliant. In some cases it was due to the slope of their parking lot not being compliant (off by 1/2 a degree, etc). He made tons of money until a judge shut him down as being a serial litigant.
 

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Solmu said:
According to the article Target's website doesn't have the proper ALT tags setup that that kind of software so highly relies on, and a few other (harder to fix) issues.

Still, the cost of such support to small businesses is just too much to bear. In theory I have no problem with Target being held to a higher standard (because they have the money to afford it), except that I'm not thrilled about the idea of different laws for rich and poor (so to speak).

This kind of thing just encourages companies not to offer services, because they run the risk that everything they do becomes a liability.
I guess I just don't see this as that big of an issue. (Besides the class action lawsuit part of it...) Alt tags are pretty easy to fix and also help with search engine optimization, from what I understand. It was only a matter of time before the regulation fairy made her way to the internets and started enforcing standards. The only thing I didn't understand was the part about needing a mouse to complete a transaction... and that being Target's fault???

I honestly can't think of a community of people that could utilize internet shopping more then the blind, though. Seems like it would be a ton easier to purchase things from the comfort of your own home as opposed to physically going to a Target store, as a blind person.

Just like it is for the rest of us. ;)
 

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RAHchills said:
I guess I just don't see this as that big of an issue. (Besides the class action lawsuit part of it...) Alt tags are pretty easy to fix and also help with search engine optimization, from what I understand.
True, until the software vendor decides they are going to use thier own tags instead of alt tags. Now you are out of compliance because you are not using thier tags, and no longer being "friendly" to the disabled.

That's why I think the responsibility lies on the shoulders of the Software vendors and the disabled to take the Freely available data and do as they will.

This brings up other points. So, what about those without physical disabilities.
What if I have a computer 9 years old, running win95 and everytime I view your website my system crashes. YOU are preventing me from viewing your website. I can view other sites just fine, but your's is causing me to crash. You are singling me out for my disibility and im going to sue you.

This whole thing is a crock.
 

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Solmu said:
I think it's a complete load of crap. The ability to use a website is not a basic human right that needs protecting by law enforcement.

What next? A bill requiring all sites be compatible with Netscape 3.0 and download within 1.5 minutes on a 14.4k modem, and don't tax the 486 running the web browser?

Okay so the situations aren't quite the same, but I still think the government has no place enforcing web design standards. They have a legal obligation to make their own information sites widely accessible, but that doesn't mean everyone else has to adhere to the same standard.

A corporation as large as Target should make their website compliant to accessibility standards as a common courtesy, but that is a separate issue from the law.
Completely agreed. This is utter nonsense. I really must root for the 'big, evil corporation' on this one.
 
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