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Target sued: Website can't be navigated by the blind

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
http://www.journalnow.com/scripts/is...acodalogin=yes

I am not insensitive, but..... let's have some realistic expectations here...

When the price of items at Target goes up 3% to cover this legal bill, everyone suffers...
post #2 of 18
That is ridiculous. I didn't even know that type of technology existed. I understand asking them to make it accesible to the blind but suing them? Our nation is just sue happy as if we have nothing better to worry about.
post #3 of 18
I agree it should be made accessible to the blind, but to be honest what is the point in suing them? There is financial assistance available for changes to meet the disability standards... did they bother to approach Target and explain how they could make it easier to use.

Many sites have drop down menus and graphics - are they going to start law suits against every one of them? Target's website follows a similar set up to most of the major stores and while some do offer low graphic pages (more for people on dial up than the blind IMO), they are in the minority and graphic heavy webpages are the norm.
post #4 of 18
Isn't there some law though that requires handicapped/disabled parking spots by the doors and an automatic door for the hanidcapped/disabled?

Technically speaking blind persons are handicapped as well. So much like laws were needed to ensure that buildings were accessible, there are policies if not laws that were put into place for web sites.

Anyhoo, I think suing is a little ridiculous...I think a group should have approached Target and if then nothing was done, then do something.
post #5 of 18
Why Target?? Are they the only Retailer that has a website up, that isn't accessable to the blind? How would you make a website accessable to the bind in the first place? Run your mouse over a link and have a recorded voice tell you what it is?

Maybe what they should be complaining about, and NOT suing about would be some sort of Braille enabled thing that prints out in braille what is written on a website.
post #6 of 18
The ADA, IMO, does not apply to websites.... To me, it seems like they're suing Target for having a website that is incompatible with a certain software. So can someone using Firefox on a Mac sue every time they can't access a webpage????

Also, it's unclear if they're actually suing for money.... if they are suing simply to force Target to make their website more accessible, and broaden the scope of the ADA, so that it does apply to the websites of the businesses that the law already applies to, then maybe it isn't such a bad thing. If they're suing for money, then they're just greedy and it's ridiculous.
post #7 of 18
Why couldn't they just...ask first?
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
I think the ADA applies to "necessary" things, which I wouldn't consider Target's website to be one of. Braille on buildings, elevators instead of stairs into public buildings, stuff like that I can understand. The internet is not "necessary."

I fear what a verdict against Target might unleash.
post #9 of 18
Over here there are laws (or maybe just guidelines) about accessibility of public websites. I was at a conference for work re displaying GIS on the web a while back when it was talked about but I wasn't really listening as it wasn't relevent to my work! Websites have to consider accessibility to all disabled people, and have a statement about accessibility on their site. That doesn't mean they can't put up stuff that can't be read by disabled people, but there is a requirement to always look at whether there is information that is not accessible to disabled people, and to consider how they can display it so that it's accessible to all. Obviously that can't be enforced on all sites as any individual can set up a website, but guidance is there on this sort of thing.

I disagree that the internet isn't essential. These days almost everyone has access to the internet. If they don't own a computer they can usually access one at work, college or a public library. For disabled people to not have the same level of access disadvantages them. It's barriers that disabled people, not their impairments (and barriers don't have to be physical). It's not clear from that article whether Target were approached about this and given a chance to work with disabled groups on improving their website, but if they weren't I agree that that would have been a preferable option to suing, in the first instance at least. It shouldn't always be down to disabled people/groups to come up with solutions though. Target could have, and probably should have, thought about accessibility issues when designing their site. Whoever designed the site should really know about that sort of thing.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbantigers View Post
I disagree that the internet isn't essential. These days almost everyone has access to the internet. If they don't own a computer they can usually access one at work, college or a public library. For disabled people to not have the same level of access disadvantages them. It's barriers that disabled people, not their impairments (and barriers don't have to be physical). It's not clear from that article whether Target were approached about this and given a chance to work with disabled groups on improving their website, but if they weren't I agree that that would have been a preferable option to suing, in the first instance at least. It shouldn't always be down to disabled people/groups to come up with solutions though. Target could have, and probably should have, thought about accessibility issues when designing their site. Whoever designed the site should really know about that sort of thing.
I meant "not essential" like versus public restrooms. Banks. Government buildings. Grocery stores. Things like that.
post #11 of 18
They are going to have to sue nearly every website out there... give me a break
post #12 of 18
Wow, maybe the ADA will have the entire Internet shut down in America.
post #13 of 18
The original intent of the ADA was good but, greedy lawyers have perverted it to include things, that were never intended. They have created whole new classes of "disabled" people and this is just one more tactic for the trial lawyers to make a few more bucks by going after a big "evil" corporation.
post #14 of 18
When you take classes on website design, you are required to learn about accessibility. There are simple ways web site designers can make sites accessable for the blind. Text tags are one way. When you roll your mouse over something, a box with text pops up. A program designed for browsing the web without being able to see will read off these text labels. When I took an accessibility class, I think they said drop down menus are not accessible to these programs. In order for websites with drop down menues to be accessible for people with sight disabilities, they need to also provide another way to navigate the website (or the feature that uses a drop down menu). I think it is only fair that the designers are taking all neccessary precuations to be sure that the site is as accessible as possible for EVERYONE.

I do believe one program is called JAWS. You can probably find it and check out a trial version for free to see how these programs work. They are actually pretty interesting. We had projects in class with these programs, where we had to blindfold ourselves to see what it feels like for a person who cannot see. I can see how frustrating a website that is not user friendly could be for these people.
post #15 of 18
According to the article by Disabled Rights Assoc. (DRA), Target refused to negotiate. Instead, they allowed the suit to be filed, and moved into federal court, and then filed a Motion to Dismiss based on the theory that the ADA applies only to physical stores, not the Internet.http://www.dralegal.org/cases/privat...b_v_target.php The federal judge has denied the Motion to Dismiss. Hopefully, this will settle, and Target will make the website accessible to the blind, and IF the NDR and the original plaintiffs have any integrity (or want the rest of us to believe that they are not greedy), each side will agree to be responsible for it's own legal fees. I did notice that even a civil rights firm from Baltimore, MD jumped on the band wagon --- was it the smell of cash that attracted them??
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Sure hope the ACLU doesn't chime in... They have a tendency to muck things up....
post #17 of 18
You KNOW they will.
post #18 of 18
That is just crazy!
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