Supreme Court allows blind people to sue retailers if their websites are not accessible

Discussion in 'Managing an Online Community' started by R0binHood, Oct 8, 2019.

  1. Wes of StarArmy

    Wes of StarArmy Adherent

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    For norms we're not talking about all web sites, I think what we're looking for is the norms for sites that are considered role models for accessibility implementation. Thankfully, the W3C exists and has been a good source of guidance on what we're looking for. Also since most of us are primarily using forum software to deliver content we mainly just need to keep the pressure on our forum companies to design for accessibility, and that doesn't cost us anything more than we're already paying for forum licenses. I would say that accommodating the visually impaired goes hand in hand with best practices in site design so yeah, it still makes sense even when you have that 1 in five million guy who is blind but is interested in construction equipment discussion. Sorry I offended you...I just wanted to let you know that using that phrase is going to get seen in that way by myself and others so you may want to avoid it. I don't know you personally so all I got to go on is your posts. :/
     
  2. Steve

    Steve Administrator

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    How about we drop anything related to "race" and get back on topic. Race has zero weight in this discussion.
     
  3. cheat_master30

    cheat_master30 Moderator

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    It's not unexpected to see this, especially given how important accessibility is overall.

    However, it does make me wonder what the legal situation would be if it turned out the software itself was inaccessible, and the site owner could claim say, it was XenForo or Invision's fault their site wasn't usable by someone with a disability. Could that be a defence in court? Would one of those companies get roped into the lawsuit over it? Who gets the blame if you've got a non technical webmaster using software they thought was accessible that turns out to have shortcomings in that area?
     
  4. MagicalAzareal

    MagicalAzareal Magical Developer

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    The issue is that making a site "truly accessible" as it were often takes extra work than if you were just to cater to everyone else. This means that end up spending time or money for users who may not even use your site.

    That said, many accessibility standards to a certain degree can end up helping in ways you never expected and oftentimes these people do tend to be horribly underserved when they go to a website.
    I am not lawyer, but I think a court would generally rule if you have made a "reasonable effort" to make the site accessible. I however very much doubt that would be a good defense in court, unless you want to turn around and sue XenForo / Invision for committing an act of fraud.
     
  5. Wes of StarArmy

    Wes of StarArmy Adherent

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    It's about equal access, though, so sites are going to have different levels of accessibility features but where you run into problems is when some people are excluded due to their disabilities...especially when money is involved. So if your site is selling trucks and the only way to get to the truck clearance section is to click on an image of a truck with a sale sign on it, and that image isn't labeled with alt text, that would be where you get sued, not for just a website design.
     
  6. KimmiKat

    KimmiKat Adherent

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    When I used to do a transit site, I would test it left and right through a text-to-speech screen reader such as Jaws. Spent many a night working on that thing.
     
  7. Daniel

    Daniel Aspirant

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    My question is, what exactly would make a website accessible for a blind person? I don't think I even understand what that even means for a site. Folks here in the U.S. are too quick to sue people. Move on and find a different place that can cater to your needs. How do you even find the website in the first place being blind and then find out it isn't accessible for you? I have so many questions and it is hurting my brain.
     
  8. R0binHood

    R0binHood Habitué

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    You make sure the underlying code is structured in a logical manner and correctly marked up to be readable and navigable using a screen reader / voiceover using built in OS accessibility tools on a Mac or a specialised screen reader like JAWS for PC.



    This is a good vid that shows how this blind YouTuber is able to use her iPhone to run her YouTube channel, watch YouTube vids, respond to comments etc, as well as use her laptop and internet using a screen reader.



    This is her first vid from a couple years earlier, if you jump to 5min 40secs she demonstrates how she can use the laptop blind

     
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  9. Daniel

    Daniel Aspirant

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    Oh okay wow that's incredible. Thank you for sharing this R0binHood
     
  10. R0binHood

    R0binHood Habitué

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    No worries, it is pretty mind blowing to see someone competent in using a screen reader with a high voice over speed navigate and use a computer. It's part of why I really respect Apples stance on accessibility. When you see how optimised their hardware and software is to make their products accessible it really is incredible and transformative to many peoples lives.
     
  11. Ingenious

    Ingenious Fan

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    As is always the case with making things accessible for people who need it, if you leave it as a voluntary thing, few do it as most things these days are profit-driven and people won't spend the money. But if you put it into legislation, either criminal or civil, suddenly people find the time and money to implement these things.
     
  12. mysiteguy

    mysiteguy Administrator

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    WIndows also has a screen reader built in. The Narrator accessibility tools, which also has additional features to use the system without a mouse.
     
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  13. mysiteguy

    mysiteguy Administrator

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    So does Microsoft. Narrator screen reader. Mouseless use. Keyboardless use. High contrast mode. Zoom mode. Mouse pointer size and thickness settings. Touch feedback sensitivity including visual feedback for touch. Color inversion. Color filters for the color blind. Change audio alerts to visual. Audio to text closed captioning. Speech recognition, control and dictation. Sticky, toggle and filter key settings. Control mouse with keypad. Cortana to handle common tasks verbally. Eye-tracking to control the mouse and on-screen keyboard. Screenless PC mode. And the Narrator screen reader can also output Braile to electronic Braille devices.
     
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  14. phatcows

    phatcows Enthusiast

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    Reminds me of a video I was shown in a 'creating accessible digital content' course at work.
    This is a blind developer using Visual Studio.
     
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  15. Somniloquent

    Somniloquent Enthusiast

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    I'm a web designer who makes accessible sites for major non profit organizations.

    I wish this were true, but making sites compliant is definitely limiting. For example, the client's brand guide might specify orange headlines, but there might not be enough contrast between the orange and the white background to make it accessible. The client expects the website to use their exact shade of orange so that their branding is consistent across all media; I'm not free to simply choose a darker shade.

    As an example, check out the Dunkin Donuts website with the high contrast toggle on and off. Prominently featuring a toggle that most people don't need is a compromise in itself, and the high contrast version uses duller colours and doesn't reflect the upbeat feel of the brand. (Still, I think it's a good compromise.)

    Websites do fall within the ADA law.

    This is true, strictly speaking. However, WCAG 2.0 level AA is the widely accepted standard for accessibility that all US web accessibility professionals follow. Meeting these guidelines is required for section 508 compliance for government websites. The guidelines are a work in progress and imperfect, so sites still won't be 100% accessible even when meeting them. Still, this is the standard that is set. Legally, if your site meets WCAG 2.0 level AA, then you will likely be in the clear.

    This may apply to graphic designers who come from a print background and design websites once in a blue moon. Most professionals who specialize in web design for a living are well aware of UX best practices.

    That said, one part of the design process is focusing on what content you want to present. There will be discussions early on about what type of navigation system is most suitable. If the site truly needs a large menu, that will be accounted for. Most sites work better with a simpler structure and fewer links across the top, and yes, there is a limit to how much will fit in a navigation bar. This is true both in terms of screen size and in terms of what makes the most sense in the way users interact with the site.

    BTW, sometimes 'it doesn't fit' is just designer speak for 'your idea sucks'. For example, clients often want to feature their Board of Directors prominently, even though users never care about this. If a client suggested it as a top level link, I might say, 'well that's a long title that won't fit in the main nav, so let's put that under the "About Us" link.' However, if the client suggested a link that actually did need to be top level, I'd make room. It's the same for other website content – 'oh sorry, your selfie collage and entire life story of how you founded the company just won't fit at the top of the homepage...'
     
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  16. R0binHood

    R0binHood Habitué

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    Stripe released a really interesting blog post a couple of days ago about their journey in creating an accessible colour system. They ended up creating their own tool, they have't released it though. Colour science is mad, it gets really complicated when you start taking into account how different colour spaces work.

    https://stripe.com/gb/blog/accessible-color-systems

    The stock XF2 theme could to with a bit of accessibility colour analysis. There's a few sections where the blues and oranges don't contrast that well and fail to meet the guidelines.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019
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  17. R0binHood

    R0binHood Habitué

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    Forgot about that, brilliant vid :)

    Best quote from the comments:
    :ROFLMAO:
     
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  18. Nev_Dull

    Nev_Dull Anachronism

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    I agree, dealing with the client and their brand identity is often challenging. Fortunately, programs like JAWS (still the standard for most visually impaired users) will ignore CSS, so sites with good coding will work, whatever the colour scheme. Sometimes too, legislation can be more restrictive because it tries to accommodate all needs at once, making it more difficult to combine accessibility and design.

    I wish that was the norm for me. Unfortunately, in my years of working with a variety of designers, large and small, almost none had any understanding of making a website usable. In the last few years, some were quick to say all the right buzzwords, but their work showed something different. It's good to know that some web designers are starting to see beyond the graphic elements.
     
  19. R0binHood

    R0binHood Habitué

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    While we're on the topic, great segment here on a British panel show with a blind comedian who claims to have had a tough time interacting with their neighbour offline :D

     
  20. SaN-DeeP

    SaN-DeeP TechArena.IN

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    Weird LAWS..
    Does it means end of e-commerce coming soon ?
     
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