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Advocates For Disabled Americans Sue Sites Failing To Comply With ADA
engine




msg:4557826
 6:36 pm on Mar 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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."

 

Marshall




msg:4557827
 6:43 pm on Mar 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

So the little guy who cannot afford to do this or has a site that is nearly impossible to meet ADA standards gets put out of business. Nice! <sarcasm>

Marshall

netmeg




msg:4557831
 7:19 pm on Mar 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

That's actually been the case for small business store fronts as well. A family friend owned a bar with live music and two really tiny awful bathroom, but she couldn't fix them up or add more stalls without having to put in extra ones for wheelchairs. Which she couldn't afford. She was "grandfathered" in with the old crummy ones, so she had to just keep those.

lucy24




msg:4557840
 8:48 pm on Mar 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hence the ubiquitous signs "no public restrooms".

The market share you gain is more than the costs of making your site accessible.

Uhm... Isn't that the part you have to prove in court?

Target and Netflix are huge companies. Did the article mention them because everyone will recognize the names-- or because they're representative of the type of firm that will lose in court?

:: inevitable mental detour to age-old speculation on why bus manufacturers think that people in wheelchairs are deaf ::

seoskunk




msg:4557842
 8:57 pm on Mar 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

Accessible to what standard? Transitional XHTML, Strict XHTML, HTML5, Frames, What?

Anyway a modern screenreader should work out mosts designs these days.

graeme_p




msg:4557933
 7:42 am on Mar 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

Most surprising advice in the article:

use plain language and a strong design to aid people with cognitive or intellectual disabilities

lexipixel




msg:4557935
 8:00 am on Mar 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

August 2008:

Target Lawsuit Ends with $6 million Settlement
Target to make Web site accessible to blind in $6 million settlement

[webmasterworld.com...]

blend27




msg:4557936
 8:08 am on Mar 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

As a Collective: We would like The National Federation of the Blind and the National Association of the Deaf, Daniel F. Goldstein, a Baltimore lawyer who represents the NFB, The U.S. Department of Justice, Mr. Smith, Lawyers who represent companies in ADA, Anne Taylor, who has to guess where to type in her name, credit card information and address when she shops online, Lainey Feingold, a California lawyer who specializes in Web accessibility and Robert Fine, a Miami-based lawyer who represents companies in ADA matters To:

come up with a detailed A-Z guide on HOW TO.

Please Advise.

Sincerely,

The Web.

Now really really look at the room where Anne Taylor is sitting in at the National Federation of the Blind in Baltimore.

3 CTRs, 386 (right) with a Zip drive, bunch of wiring hanging(Blind person - loose wires -right), left wall, 21" Dell(Sony CTR), another 486 tower on the floor, 3 large Pictures on the wall, really must of been a blind spot.., back to right, at least a dozen poles 6 feet a part. Lights, grrrr, do those detach at will?

No wonder she is upset.

[edited by: blend27 at 8:55 am (utc) on Mar 24, 2013]

lucy24




msg:4557938
 8:51 am on Mar 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

Most surprising advice in the article:
use plain language and a strong design to aid people with cognitive or intellectual disabilities

Dang! I've just gone blank on the name of that Kurt Vonnegut story. Y'all know the one I mean.

Clarence




msg:4558038
 4:51 pm on Mar 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

I used to work for the Government, and All of their site must be T 508 compliant.

All sites must be able to be Read by a text reader for the Blind (JAWS) and people with Impaired site.

Even sites for Internal Employees who couldn't be blind and do their job LMAO!

This is something any webmaster with a profitable site need to worry about. Lawyer love easy money, and now all they need is a Blind person to represent to extract a few grand out of you.

One solution:

Create a blind.mysite.com that's text only for the absolute basics of your site, and put a link in your footer.

Someone could make a Ton creating a Blind People WordPress widget that does that!

On some of our site it was so hard and costly to retro-fit it to support the JAWS program that we created a smaller text site that detected the Jaws User Agent and Redirected.

incrediBILL




msg:4558063
 8:00 pm on Mar 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

Good topic as I was planning to start something along this line.

Anyway a modern screenreader should work out mosts designs these days.


Nice idea but not all of the optically challenged are completely blind and some of the stuff web designers do make those of use with vision issues absolutely bat crap crazy trying to use those sites.

Making eCommerce sites accessible, or any others for that matter, is often a matter of simply using the right software which does all the accessibility stuff for you right out of the box. Where most people run into issues are hand made sites by incompetent designers that don't cover all the bases as most of the stuff is simple and doing the little things for accessibility can sometimes improve your SEO as well.

Due to medical issues, the medicine I'm taking to keep me ticking also caused two nasty cataracts that I can't have surgically corrected for a few months to correct so I'm now living with the problems that these people are complaining about. I was only having minor issues a couple of months ago and it rapidly degraded and it could happen to anyone as both my Mom and Uncle had cataracts as well. It's like looking though a sheer white curtain all the time as you can see everything thru the curtain but nothing is sharp unless it has high contrast. I went from reading with my naked eyes in January to using 2x reading glasses, browser fonts massively enlarged and Microsoft Magnifier on top of my screen set to show 3x larger than that! It looks like I'm typing on the Jumbotron in Times Square but I digress.

It often isn't complicated such as using nice black fonts on white background or black backgrounds with white fonts. Color on color sucks big time and light colors or gray are very difficult to read. Make sure all the images have descriptions to be read, etc. nothing a small shop can't go vs. a big shop, anyone cal do it as it''s not that complicated.

Twitter mobile for instance puts a fairly grey font on a white background and I have to enlarge the crap out of it to read it vs. Engadet's reader which uses a nice crisp black font on white, much easier for me to read.

As a matter of fact, I have issues on WebmasterWorld itself. I can read WebmasterWorld just fine but when I'm typing it's a problem because the default font being picked for the text edit isn't as dark as the font being used to display the page so I have to hit PREVIEW often to really see what in the heck I just typed and it's frustrating as hell.

See how simple accessibility can be? One lousy font change would make my life much easier and that's hardly a big imposition on the little guy.

FWIW, Amazon is one of the easiest sites to read and use based on my current needs so I would look at what they do as an example of how to address accessibility and considering the age of the baby boomers, who do a lot of online shopping, I'd be serious about addressing that demographic and not doing so much cutesy stuff for the cool 20-30 crowd that leaves the rest of us squinting and grumbling and going back to Amazon.

Also keep in mind that a great number of people have partial color blindness and I had an Uncle that couldn't see 2 colors and another Great Uncle that was totally color blind and it also causes issues for us people suffering with cataracts and more.

Avoid light colors, color on color, and keep it high contrast and that alone is all it takes to keep many of us reading your sites.

hyperkik




msg:4558064
 8:02 pm on Mar 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

Dang! I've just gone blank on the name of that Kurt Vonnegut story. Y'all know the one I mean.

Harrison Bergeron.

I don't mean to diminish the barriers under discussion, but on the whole material published on a website is inherently far more accessible than the same material published in traditional print media.

lucy24




msg:4558095
 10:31 pm on Mar 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yes, I'm sure some longtime webmasters had to sit on their hands when they met the line
use plain language and a strong design to aid people with cognitive or intellectual disabilities

You mean, like your average client? (A physical counter has the same effects. It eats about 50% of the IQ of the person standing on the other side.)

The whole issue really does overlap with Responsive Design doesn't it?

And, for that matter, intelligent browser design. One of the many reasons I don't often use Opera is that you don't have absolute choice of your preferred default font size. 14 or 16 but not 15.

incrediBILL




msg:4558096
 11:11 pm on Mar 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

but on the whole material published on a website is inherently far more accessible than the same material published in traditional print media.


I kind of expect difficulty with printed material but I don't expect it with websites which turn out to be worse more often than not as printed material tends to be contrasty by nature of the medium to be white with dark black letters which are easy for me to read and the devices the blind use as well.

With printed media vision impaired are using bright lights, magnifying glasses, material printed in Braille and audio books to solve those problems. My current favorite hack helping me cope in the real world is a magnifying glass app that uses the camera in the phone and allows me to zoom in until I can see what I need to see. As a matter of fact another hack I use is a flashlight app that turns on the camera LED flash so I can read menus in dimly lit restaurants.

Obviously I'm not totally blind (yet) but there are lots of ways to cope with the problem but poor font size and color choices by webmasters are simply inexcusable just because some designer thinks it looks cool and then a bunch of us have trouble reading it.

I've actually tried the text to speech reader stuff in the cell phones and on my computer and it's really not bad when someone does the app or webpage properly but if it's done wrong and sloppy it's quickly maddening and I either bail on the app/page or turn off audio and go back to magnifying software.

A big problem for me are app for the cell phone and tablet don't even bother checking the default font size you set for your system so everything looks great at the OS level but you load some reader and it's back to 8pt or 10pt with no way to zoom or enlarge, totally useless at that point. The default messaging on the phone, SMS, email, etc. is actually guilty of this if you can believe it which is inexcusably bad design and SQA.

For that reason I've been abandoning some apps and going back to their websites and telling it to give me the regular desktop view that I can zoom in as much as I wast because sadly many of the 'mobile' designed pages are ill conceived crap and worse to deal with than than panning and zooming the regular desktop view.

Sorry if I'm off on a rant here but it's a topic that's near and dear to me and is really hitting close to home and I quickly discovered that nobody is building anything right for people that need a wee bit bigger or bolder font except a handful of products which is pathetic, inexcusable and disheartening to say the least.

How hard is it to let the viewer choose a font size, pick up the system font size already set, or allow a page to be zoomed?

It's those little simple details that really make or break usability.

It's not hard at all and if I continue on I'm going to use words at this point that will insult and offend some people so I'll stop as I think I've made my point.

Str82u




msg:4558116
 1:00 am on Mar 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

How hard is it to let the viewer choose a font size, pick up the system font size already set, or allow a page to be zoomed
That was the hardest part, deciding which code to use and then adding the code to all pages (I'm a miser when it comes to lines in source code). Other wise, making a site accessible is kinda fun.
lucy24




msg:4558137
 2:43 am on Mar 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

?
When it comes to fonts and sizes, you're not adding code. You're REMOVING line upon line of code whose only function in many cases is to annoy the user. If a site will only look right with text forced to 11 point Courier, there is something wrong with the site.

atm I've only got two pages --by count-- with any of the body text in explicitly named fonts... and that's done as an intentional joke. (89,000 guesses what the font is.)

buckworks




msg:4558144
 4:12 am on Mar 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

89,000 guesses what the font is


Guess #1: Inuktitut syllabics?

lucy24




msg:4558155
 6:00 am on Mar 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

No, but you're closer than you think. It's Comic Sans. It's one of those "I guess you had to be there" jokes.

You don't need to force a UCAS font. Any browser that isn't utterly mired in the stone age has long since started doing font substitution. (Quick detour tells me that "stone age" = MSIE < 7. A few offices in Iqaluit may still be using 6. Sigh.)

swa66




msg:4558257
 2:11 pm on Mar 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

To be honest, if you set a user stylesheet, it'll override *any* CSS (even inline) that a webmaster might have added. Now that works till you get to putting text in a box.
So IMHO, the lesson there is to "go with the flow" not try to change the base font size and measure other things on the page that need to be related in size to the fonts actually used in em instead of pixels. It might at first mean to do a little bit boring layout - but combine it with responsive design as suggested and it'll all work out.

Now any truly modern browser does zooming pretty well and that just makes everything bigger on the screen, including any graphic elements.
The more you use the above the better the zooming can work, but it'll work anyway.
One gotcha: if you use CSS sprites: leave a few pixels extra of background color around the elements: otherwise the background of a neighboring element might blend in due to the upscaling.

A high contrast alternate stylesheet is equally easy to make, and it would allow those who need it (not just cataract patients, the color blind often will find it a solution just as well) to go black&white only.
To do that, you do not need to offer any tool to change the stylesheet etc. All the visitor needs to do is select the stylesheet in his/her browser. E.g. in Firefox it's under View > Style demo page here:
[developer.mozilla.org...]

To be honest the biggest thing holding us back isn't the webmaster side of things, it's the retarded browsers still out there that e.g. can't scale an image using a decent algorithm, that don't support all of CSS (including e.g. media queries), as well as 3rd party components such as ad networks and other stuff that are still in the middle ages when it comes to dynamically resizing things.

What I find wrong however is suing. If you can't use it: go elsewhere. But I guess it's an unfortunate aspect of the American way of living (which I do like except for a few things. One of them being that trigger happy nature when it comes to suing others).

Str82u




msg:4558267
 2:31 pm on Mar 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

...if you set a user stylesheet, it'll override *any* CSS ...not try to change the base font size and measure other things on the page in em instead of pixels
That is correct, I don't know where lucy24 came up with 11px but we increase/decrease by em, not px and we aren't removing anything but overriding instead.

The method we use is one that's an established and widely used but we don't cookie the user for it so it might be a little inconvenient from page to page because users need to resize per page, but it is effective.

albo




msg:4558322
 4:31 pm on Mar 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

So IMHO, the lesson there is to "go with the flow" not try to change the base font size and measure other things on the page that need to be related in size to the fonts actually used in em instead of pixels.

Spot on. I size my body at 100% and go from relative ems thereafter (for font-size, margins, and paddings). I think this not only has the benefit of making the site accessible, but also extremely eases construction of a device-agnostic design.
What I find wrong is suing.
Yep, always. Lawyers don't need jobs in web design (except perhaps in designing their own danged websites.) For I can imagine a person who is not "challenged" dictating suing a corporation for its website's "accessibility" problems. And I can foresee a countersuit from that corporation for the frivolous tasks entailed in avoiding or dealing with that suit.
LifeinAsia




msg:4558331
 4:43 pm on Mar 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

Create a blind.mysite.com that's text only for the absolute basics of your site, and put a link in your footer.

I wonder if that would just set you up for a discrimination lawsuit- making disabled people use an "inferior" section of your site.

ken_b




msg:4558358
 5:57 pm on Mar 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

Is there a site where you can plug in a url and see if it meets accessibility standards?

incrediBILL




msg:4558362
 6:16 pm on Mar 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

Now any truly modern browser does zooming pretty well and that just makes everything bigger on the screen, including any graphic elements.


While that's mostly true I've run into issues with the dropdown lists for auto-fill form stuff still showing up in 10pt and not resized properly and other issues with select lists a time or two.

At this point I don't know if it was CSS issues, bugs in the browser, etc. as I didn't take time to investigate so it's not all a bed of roses as I can attest to from personal experience.

A bit off topic, but the dialog box to run Microsoft Magnifier is in 10pt type so you can't see to setup the damn thing in the first place. How stupid is that? You have to turn on the magnifier before you can see how to use the magnifier which is a real which came first, the chicken or egg problem at that point. The do NOT THINK about the people using this stuff and maintain the style guide of the software instead of making it actually function for someone needing to use it. Damned annoying.

Not to mention all the help files, documentation, and even the Windows Control Panel for accessibility isn't accessible until AFTER you've enabled which is idiotic. So basically if you need accessibility and don't happen to have a magnifying glass, someone to read it for you, or something else handy to read it in the first place you're pretty much screwed. I'm not quite that bad yet and if I stick my nose on the screen, it's a working distance issue, then I can barely make out the smaller print and managed to activate it all but I wasn't happy and some swearing was involved.

People just don't think.

When I was a software engineering manager I always put myself in the customer shoes, how would they use it, made our engineers do the same, we ate our own dog food which is why our products kicked the competitors butts. It's really that simple, try using the spp/website as others would on cells, tablets, desktops as both sighted, vision impaired and turn on the text to speech options and try it full blind and see what kind of experience you get and if you find yourself frustrated so will your visitors.

Leosghost




msg:4558382
 6:48 pm on Mar 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

linux ( mint )..menu>>applications>>assistive technologies>>choose which assistive technologies to enable when you log in..
And you can download the using "mint" helpfiles ( includes "the how" to for "assistive technologies" at any time )

includes magnification..text to speech ..contrast etc etc ..
you can then set up ..
preferred applications
keyboard accessibility
mouse accessibility
accessible login

You can make any of the desktop icons as big as you want..
adjust loads of stuff..
I set up linux ( mint ) for older, sight impaired and physically handicapped people all the time..Most of the time they can set it up themselves :)

People just don't think.

Some do..:)

Opera has a magnifying slider at the bottom right of the window chrome..

You may be in the wrong OS..and using the wrong browser ;)

But..agreed ..many websites do not "think"..usability..

You can set high contrast, font sizes etc, without even going into "assistive technologies"..menu>>"appearance"..

Then of course there are all the accessibility tools in the repos..

Str82u




msg:4558404
 7:32 pm on Mar 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

@ken_b - I've used a few but this one is pretty simple - do a G search for accessibility tests. The one I use is down at the moment.

EDIT: removed a link

lexipixel




msg:4558409
 7:42 pm on Mar 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

Is there a site where you can plug in a url and see if it meets accessibility standards?
-kenB

It used to be "Bobby"... til it got shut down: [webmasterworld.com...]

..and it looks like the "Cynthia Says" program mentioned in that thread is somewhat abandoned, (and not working when I tried to test a few sites).

You'd think if sites are supposed to "pass a test", that there would be a testing tool available from those who demand complianace...

brotherhood of LAN




msg:4558412
 7:51 pm on Mar 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

Related reading on WAI-ARIA: [w3.org...]

Accessibility of web content requires semantic information about widgets, structures, and behaviors, in order to allow assistive technologies to convey appropriate information to persons with disabilities. This specification provides an ontology of roles, states, and properties that define accessible user interface elements and can be used to improve the accessibility and interoperability of web content and applications. These semantics are designed to allow an author to properly convey user interface behaviors and structural information to assistive technologies in document-level markup

lucy24




msg:4558431
 9:27 pm on Mar 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

What I find wrong however is suing. If you can't use it: go elsewhere.

If they won't rent to you: Look elsewhere.
If they won't look at your resumé: Apply elsewhere.
If they won't let your child into their college: Send them elsewhere.

Et cetera.

Lawsuits are not the solution to all problems. But for some problems they are the only solution.

I don't know where lucy24 came up with 11px

Er, I was tossing out a random example. Unfortunately it was prompted by a page I met in real life. Adding insult to injury, the page belongs to someone who is my father's age and therefore ought to know better.

if you set a user stylesheet, it'll override *any* CSS (even inline) that a webmaster might have added.

That's a pretty big "if", though. Is the assumption here that anyone who can't read twelve-point Times Roman will have created their own stylesheet?

Now any truly modern browser does zooming pretty well and that just makes everything bigger on the screen, including any graphic elements.

And that's exactly what the user should not have to do. I may require bigger text than the site designer envisioned. Simple demographics says that the designer is probably younger than I am and has better eyesight. And I don't mean 51% on either count. But it doesn't automatically follow that I need the pictures to be blown up too. Especially since text will display suitably at any size, while an oversized image is clearly oversized. A decent browser will offer both options: Zoom everything, or zoom text alone.

My personal bottom line: There is simply no reason
ever
anywhere
under any circumstances
for a site's primary, default body text to be forced to a particular size. And that's exactly what so many sites do.

Explicit point sizes have only one advantage: Browsers that have a "minimum text size" option may or may not recognize computed sizes. They will always recognize explicitly declared sizes. If the footnote says "50%" I'm stuck. If it says "8pt" the browser will come to my rescue.

:: detour here to look at present page's source, noting with fascination a great number of <font size> tags ranging from 1 ("xx-small") to 3 ("medium") ::

incrediBILL




msg:4558498
 2:52 am on Mar 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

Especially since text will display suitably at any size, while an oversized image is clearly oversized.


See, even the advocate of accessibility has a misconception because I often have to enlarge images to tell what in the hell I'm looking at even if it's just an enlarged image beyond being aesthetically pleasing and gets a little pixelated, I still need to boost it a size or two in order to make out some of the finer details.

Never try to second guess the needs of others, just let the page enlarge, resize it dynamically like RWD, just let the page flow. I'm still baffled by people that do fixed width 800px designs that are too small on my desktop and too big on my mobile devices and basically all around useless for any purpose unless you're using a laptop circa 1987. Those stupid fixed width layouts don't fill the tablet view port properly when you double tap it and there you sit panning back and forth for no reason other than the designers stubbornness, ignorance or both.

For instance Yahoo mail is freaking useless as you increase the text size a couple of time and suddenly they pop up a new page that says you don't have enough screen resolution to run their stupid heavily javascript laden interface so you have to switch back to the default resolution every time you start Yahoo mail and then you can bump the font size a time or two and if you're lucky it won't complain again. What a bunch of...

Maybe I'm wording my opinion a little strongly but I think a bunch of designers out there need to be jolted out of their complacency to get on the ball and learn that it's actually easier to make some one-size-fits all sites that everyone can use and enjoy across all view ports and be accessible to boot opposed to sitting around splitting hairs over some fixed width pixel fixed font layouts that turn away more visitors today than they attract.

They aren't doing the visitors any favors, nor their clients, and will soon go the way of the dinosaur if they don't get with the program.

Some of us don't sue, we leave little notes in the feedback telling the site owner why we abandoned the cart and went elsewhere and that will come back to bite the designer in the butt.

This 43 message thread spans 2 pages: 43 ( [1] 2 > >
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