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|Advocates For Disabled Americans Sue Sites Failing To Comply With ADA|
|Advocates for disabled Americans have declared that companies have a legal obligation to make their websites as accessible as their stores, and they've filed suits across the country to force them to install the digital version of wheelchair ramps and self-opening doors.Advocates For Disabled Americans Sue Sites Failing To Comply With ADA [online.wsj.com] |
|Their theory that the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act applies to the modern Internet has been dismissed by several courts. Still, the National Federation of the Blind and the National Association of the Deaf have won legal victories against companies such as Target Corp. and Netflix Inc. Both companies settled the cases after federal judges rejected arguments that their websites were beyond the scope of the ADA. |
"It's what I call 'eat your spinach' litigation," said Daniel F. Goldstein, a Baltimore lawyer who represents the NFB. "The market share you gain is more than the costs of making your site accessible."
|just let the page enlarge |
Sure. But I hope you'll agree that a decent browser will give the user both options: zoom everything, or zoom text alone.
I've started going through my stylesheets and setting different overall margins based on window size. Look at the present window. There's a nice margin of-- I'm guessing-- about 8% on each side.* That's appropriate for full-size computers; text that slams right into the edge of the window looks horrible. But the smaller your screen, the less real estate you've got.
* Page code says we're in a table with width 85% so I was darn close ;)
I'm gonna assume @swa66 meant "you" as in your website, not the user having created a stylesheet; the way we do it, the up/down stylesheets only override specific classes/ids but don't alter anything else, the user just has to click on the up/down icons (if they can see them... not making a joke here either, that just occurred to me).
|if you set a user stylesheet, it'll override *any* CSS.... That's a pretty big "if", though. |
|assume @swa66 meant "you" as in your website, not the user having created a stylesheet |
|if you set a user stylesheet, it'll override *any* CSS (even inline) that a webmaster might have added |
Lots of people with accessibility issues will learn how to do this.
And though I don't have any accessibility issues, I got so perturbed at Google for making its ads indistinguishable from the organic results (at least for colorblind me), I have a user stylesheet for Firefox and Chrome that highlight ads so I can tell at a glance which is which.
Well it's too bad there isn't a simple "validation" type site to use to see if a site meets the standards.
|Well it's too bad there isn't a simple "validation" type site to use to see if a site meets the standards. |
Cynthia Says: [cynthiasays.com...]
I tried this awhile ago. It's something where you'll never pass 100%, kind of like HTML validation. I think as long as you can navigate the site and accomplish whatever the site was intended for, without a mouse (keyboard only), nobody will ever give you grief.
No, You're thinking of accesskeys (and replacing it with tabindex); navigation and labeling are important but there is only one required accesskey/tabindex/link. Accesskeys operate mechanically by pressing ALT (or ALT+SHIFT) and a "access" key simultaneously; ie ALT+2 is Home, ALT+9 is Sitemap, ALT+N is News Page, etc. Some users can't use the keyboard or may be severely limited so you want simple, static and easy to remember commands rather than trying to cover every single link on every single page. Some of the popular screen readers are looking for these as navigation links but you can put as many in as YOU want to aid users on page. Your accessibility page should have a "key" menu on it for reference.
|I think in order to be 100% compliant, every link on any given page should be accessible to somebody with only a keyboard |
example I used the first time: [homeoffice.gov.uk...]
Cynthiasays was non-functional the other day (and is right now) but it is possible to achieve 100% all those items just like 100% validation. One note that won't apply to many people is that Federal (US gov) sites or agencies may not endorse or use the services of a site that is not 100% compliant.
|It's something where you'll never pass 100%, kind of like HTML validation |
This is the page from W3 that suggests tools: [w3.org...]
Here's one I've used excessively but it's limited use as a free tool but it tells you what to do and where to fix it:
Here's one JUST I tested and it's on the W3 list, a little crowded and confusing at first:
I'm a strong believer in making my sites accessible, so I make sure every photo has alt text to be read in a reader for the visually impaired. I use decent-sized fonts, always black on white, etc. Those things are pretty simple, and I'm happy to do them.
The problem is whether the lawsuit will take into account the accommodations the disabled are able to make for *themselves*. For example, how can anyone click a link without a mouse, unless they add in a browser addon that turns the links into numbers or something? I did that once when my wrists were hurting from mousing, and it worked well on most sites. So I would think only the site you can't do mouselessly even when you've tweaked your browser are out of compliance, but a judge might decide we all have to come up with... I can't even imagine what.
If they make a rational decision that requires us to do the stuff that W3C and others have already been recommending for sometime, I'm okay with that. But if they misread the whole thing and require us to do stuff that's really complicated or expensive, that's going to be a problem.
|For example, how can anyone click a link without a mouse, unless they add in a browser addon that turns the links into numbers or something? |
Uhm... Are you sure you want that preserved for posterity?
You don't CLICK on a link. You FOLLOW a link. Exact physical method will depend on a combination of operating-system settings, browser, and preferences set within the browser.
|Test your site with Lynx or a screen reader. Itís a fun exercise. |
Not only fun. Educational.
If you use images as text-- especially for links-- make sure the alt and title (yes, both*) say exactly the same thing your image says. Not just for accessibility. Useful if for any reason the user's browser can't or doesn't display the image. Better to have "Ugh! Why does my site look so horrible?" than "Awk! Where'd the links go?"
* alt text is displayed when the image isn't, while title text shows up when the image is visible. So they're mutually exclusive unless you've got an ancient browser-- naming no names-- that doesn't understand what the words mean.
|Uhm... Are you sure you want that preserved for posterity? |
If I'm ignorant of something, it would be more effective to tell me what I'm missing than to just imply I've made a fool of myself.
|You don't CLICK on a link. You FOLLOW a link. Exact physical method will depend on a combination of operating-system settings, browser, and preferences set within the browser. |
That was the point I was trying to make. There are accommodations the disabled can make for themselves, and I see the webmaster's responsibility more as not to disable those accommodations and to keep accessibility in mind while using tags and designing the look of the site.
But I guess I'm incredibly ignorant about something and can only hope you will enlighten me.
Ah - don't mind that comment. I think she just means that the way a link is followed depends on the device and "click" is not always the correct terminology. meaning that given user agent might cycle through links on the page via [TAB] (as with form fields even in a standard browser) and follow via [ENTER] or whatever.
In terms of having that preserved for posterity, that wouldn't rank in the top 1000 of my posts I would have to remove if I were worried about appearing ignorant. Hey, knowledge is finite, but ignorance is infinite, so I have no problem showing my ignorance ;-)
Most websites fail at accessibility and it's a shame because coding in even the bare bone basics is easy. I test sites for a living and they all flunk WCAG 2.0 compliance. The lawsuits raise awareness but there is no law that says ecommerce sites have to be compliant. None. Government sites have to be Section 508 compliant and many US colleges want their public facing pages to be as well simply because it makes sense to do so.
All sites flunk contrasts. The moment they choose gray text against colored backgrounds, they don't pass. Most call to action buttons don't pass. Missing alt attributes or doing the wrong is another. Fixed fonts are another. Percentages are better. Text is vital. Sliders not only don't convert, they mean nothing to special needs users.
Why choose any accessibility? Who are these people that need WCAG compliance? Those who wear glasses or reading glasses. Colorblind. Anyone with ADD or ADHD or any other issues with distractions and attention span. Any person with MS or Parkinsons, carpal tunnel, hand or wrist injuries or hand tremors and can't use a mouse.
The first thing I do when I get a site to test is turn off all the images to see what's left. Typically there isn't much for search engines or accessibility standards. I have a stockpile of tools and resources if interested in knowing and doing more.
cre8pc - thanks for a nice rundown of the problems. I know I'm taking it off-topic here, but you say you test sites for accessibility for a living. Would you care give a rundown of your process?
How do your test contrast/colorblind issues, for example (as a colorblind user, those two are particularly irksome for me and so many sites fail. If I could do one thing to make the world better for colorblind people it would be this: no UI, be it a website, a traffic light or a Blu-Ray player should ever use Red/Green as the on/off, good/bad, stop/go signal system unless there's a backup signal, such as shape).
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