Target Will Become More Accessible to Blind

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That has to be headline of the day…“Target will become more accessible to the blind.” Heh, that is one of those unintentionally funny headlines that makes you call your blind mother (mine) and read it to her out loud.

Target has settled a class-action dispute with the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) whereby the retail giant will pay $6 million and make its Web site more accessible to the visually impaired by next year, the company announced Wednesday.
 

HardOCP News

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Actual conversation with my Mom:

“Hey mom, all Targets will be more accessible to the blind”
“Targets, what targets?”

“Not those kinds of targets....
 

Ualdayan

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How ridiculous is it that they had to pay $5 million AND agree to change their website? If you're a painter should you be sued because the blind can't see your painting? What if you make a nature documentary with beautiful backdrops that they can't see? Yes, there are a lot of things the blind get special treatment on that they should, but how can you fault primarily visual medias for being a primarily visual media?
 

SockMan!

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Web pages may be a primarily visual media, but the blind can usually use them with the help of screen readers. Target is in the crosshairs because their site isn't screen reader friendly.

Your painting analogy is flawed since one doesn't actually use the painting for any practical purpose. Target's web site is meant for commerce; that's completely different than a work of art.
 

oROEchimaru

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their alt tags on a catagory page like "Tables" is horrible. if you read that in a screen reader it would say

"item space space 3.5 rating space price 3.75 table hdtv great deals target.com add to cart item space space"

gibberish. enough to sue someone for? i don't see how that is even freaking possible. there are millions of other websites out there much worse. what about sites making fun of blind people? or are those easy to navigate
 

Ualdayan

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Web pages may be a primarily visual media, but the blind can usually use them with the help of screen readers. Target is in the crosshairs because their site isn't screen reader friendly.

Your painting analogy is flawed since one doesn't actually use the painting for any practical purpose. Target's web site is meant for commerce; that's completely different than a work of art.

But it isn't that Target went out of their way to make it unfriendly to screen readers. Why not fault the screen reader software for not being able to interpret anything but simple websites? There are equal alternatives to the website including a 1-800 number so it isn't like Target was preventing them from being able to shop at home same as a nonblind person. And what a coincidence that they go after a bigger company wanting millions - why not just ask them to change the site? Why demand they pay millions in addition to the cost of redoing the site?
 

stevedave

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hahah they tried to walk into target and missed......HAHAHAHAH

Mitch Hedberg is hilarious, blind people are not.
 

velusip

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Heh, I dealt with this kind of thing a lot when designing web-sites. Coping with and restricting content to double standards, making them work together, and then incorporating accessibility content. It takes a long time!

Kind of fun though... I never knew a blind person until late in life and she helped me describe what she wants in a web-site. "Thinking spacially" and applying your content without using unique layouts and visual queues makes most currently designed web-sites look really messy. :p
 

Michael Daly

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i don't see how that is even freaking possible.

ADA?

Web development tools and products have had all the features required to make them accessible to blind users since the beginning of the web. The fact that so many web developers are completely ignorant of the fact is no excuse.

Usability guidelines for computers predate the web by many years. Those guidelines are also routinely ignored by developers.

Of course, even developers who wish to make use of these capabilities will have to fight management and/or clients to make it happen. Such is the reality of today.

Interesting example - I am colourblind and got into a "fight" with various persons over usability guidelines wrt colour usage on computers. The company they worked for wrote one of the key early documents on PC usability and that company mandated that the guidelines be followed. It didn't stop them from ignoring their own mandate and documents in spite of my objections that some of their designs were impossible to use by red-green colourblind persons.
 

HardOCP News

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lmao, now I feel guilty for laughing :(

Don't.

Most blind people (my Mom is one) laugh at a good joke when they hear it....I still say st00pid crap to my Mom all the time like "You see what I'm saying" she doesn't get offended.



As far as the Target website is concerned...all blind people (or any disabled person for that matter) is to be able to use their site and spend their moeny like anyone else. It is bad enough that, when you go to the brick and mortar store you have to take a friend to tell you how much everyhting is and where it is at. Sucks :(


Even worse? When you use your Visa at the register, you have to TRUST that the cashier is telling you the right price. When you use your Debit card, half the time they have to put the PIN in for you. Real nice.

How hard is it to make a user friendly website? Target was fined because they had been told how many times to fix it and didn't? How many people complained? The case got class action status before anything was done...tells you something right there.

Anyhow...Mitch Hedberg on Target FTW.
 

Volcanon

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Quite ridiculous lawsuit, really.

Target is a business that should have no obligation to provide anything for anyone.

Blind people can have their say with their money. If Target doesn't make their site accessible to them, they can spend their money elsewhere.

The ADA is the reason for this lawsuit and it is overreaching because it suggests that someone is entitled to something from a private business when they shouldn't be.
 

SelousSizzle

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I'm all for the ADA, but this is absolutely ridiculous. This makes me want to vomit. What about the blind, deaf, mute kids with no arms or legs, is Target going to be forced to station an employee at their house to take product orders from them? Maybe I should sue Newegg.com and force them to build a brick and mortar store(I know cool,huh) in my area because I cannot look at a computer screen long enough without getting a headache to complete my order. Isn't this the problem of the screen reader manufacturer? Our product doesn't do what it is supposed to so we'll sue the major corporation and force them to adapt to us? This is a little like litigating Sony over the fact that their Blue-Ray won't work in my Toshiba HD DVD player!

On a side note, I'd like to hear about Steve's experience surfing for porn with a screen reader. :)
 

AliP

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These handicap laws are ridiculous. Stores should never be forced to be more handicapped accessible, they should only do so if there is a market for it. The store did not block blind people from accessing the website, the laws of physics did.
 

mkirkland

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Not to throw my lot in with the "fuck the disabled" crowd, but I wonder how this sort of thing applies to catalogs. Are they required to produce braille versions?
 

hl3395

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K-Mart rebuted by making front entrance twice as big as Target stating, "K-Mart is 100% more accessible to the blind than Target." However, local consumers all note that they have not seen a K-Mart for years.
 

uclajd

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Unbelievable. Suits like this make me sad to be a lawyer.

So now private companies have to design Websites for blind people. We aren't talking government buildings here.

Even sadder is that people are actually defending this shit. And Target (likely for PR reasons rather than legal merit), despite "fixing" their Website actually paid these sumbiches money? So you deserve $20K because you couldn't use a Web site? Like Wal-Mart doesn't have the same crap? What next, sue Ford and GM because their cars won't let quadriplegics drive them?

Look out Kyle for lawsuits from Hard blind people!
 
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While I agree the lawsuit is bullshit , with a retailer the size of Target it shouldn't have to come to this. When it comes to poor eyesight there is a ton of elderly people who rely on readers when it comes to reading books etc. These people are potential customers.
 

Ockie

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So do they offer valet service for the blind too? I mean, we already have brail ATM drive through machines because some nub cakes sued for that too.
 

Shambler

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Don't.

Most blind people (my Mom is one) laugh at a good joke when they hear it....I still say st00pid crap to my Mom all the time like "You see what I'm saying" she doesn't get offended.



As far as the Target website is concerned...all blind people (or any disabled person for that matter) is to be able to use their site and spend their moeny like anyone else. It is bad enough that, when you go to the brick and mortar store you have to take a friend to tell you how much everyhting is and where it is at. Sucks :(


Even worse? When you use your Visa at the register, you have to TRUST that the cashier is telling you the right price. When you use your Debit card, half the time they have to put the PIN in for you. Real nice.

How hard is it to make a user friendly website? Target was fined because they had been told how many times to fix it and didn't? How many people complained? The case got class action status before anything was done...tells you something right there.

Anyhow...Mitch Hedberg on Target FTW.

Makes sense. If they have been warned, have the ability, time, and utilities to adjust their site to any demographic they should have jumped on it as fast as possible. Seriously, why lolly gag and lose potential buyers. Why not get the word out that Target.com is hands down the best visually impaired/blind accessible site out there. Word of mouth hits, and Target.com just earned a butt load of customers in that demographic.

And I hope the screen readers have a normal voice... Mike/Sam from MS Text To speech are hilarious for reading rap lyrics, but horrible for reading actual documents and such. :(
 

SelousSizzle

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Makes sense. If they have been warned, have the ability, time, and utilities to adjust their site to any demographic they should have jumped on it as fast as possible. Seriously, why lolly gag and lose potential buyers. Why not get the word out that Target.com is hands down the best visually impaired/blind accessible site out there. Word of mouth hits, and Target.com just earned a butt load of customers in that demographic.

And I hope the screen readers have a normal voice... Mike/Sam from MS Text To speech are hilarious for reading rap lyrics, but horrible for reading actual documents and such. :(

I agree completely that Target, as a major retailer, should make their site accessible to as many people as possible as more customers equal more revenue. That is just plain good business sense. I just don't agree with them being forced to do it if they choose not to. Perhaps I just see this as an ominous regulation of the internet, establishing a precedence for more government interference.

As for accessibility, I can see how wheelchair ramps and curb cuts are necessary. If you go to a restaurant with a person in a wheelchair and they cannot get into the restaurant due to stairs and no ramps then they are being physically excluded. That to me seems clear cut. Exclusion from a cyber world seems like a foreign concept to me, how do you physically exclude someone from the electronic flow of information? Can Blizzard be sued for not making World of Warcraft playable for the blind?
 

Magnus

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I think being forced to make their website more accessible for the blind will benefit all of us. Target has the worst website of any big box retailer and lacks basic information about it's products like weight, dimensions manufacturer and, capacity. If you call to get specific info on a product, the folks answering only have access to the very same website you do and no other contact information.
 

Ockie

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I think being forced to make their website more accessible for the blind will benefit all of us. Target has the worst website of any big box retailer and lacks basic information about it's products like weight, dimensions manufacturer and, capacity. If you call to get specific info on a product, the folks answering only have access to the very same website you do and no other contact information.

Really, this is their own business, they should be able to sell a product how they want. I don't go to best buy because of their sales techniques, I don't go to some car dealers because they leave out hidden costs... does this mean that they should change their business to accomodate the few?

People speak louder with thier wallets. I have nothing against disabled people, but seriously, common.... I should perhaps sue stores because I keep hitting my head on their stupid signs and low clearnace doors and such?
 

Ockie

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Really, this is their own business, they should be able to sell a product how they want. I don't go to best buy because of their sales techniques, I don't go to some car dealers because they leave out hidden costs... does this mean that they should change their business to accomodate the few?

People speak louder with thier wallets. I have nothing against disabled people, but seriously, common.... I should perhaps sue stores because I keep hitting my head on their stupid signs and low clearnace doors and such?

Oh I forgot, most stores don't sell tall clothing or have a very limited selection, what about us? Thats why there are specialty stores.
 

SockMan!

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I think being forced to make their website more accessible for the blind will benefit all of us. Target has the worst website of any big box retailer and lacks basic information about it's products like weight, dimensions manufacturer and, capacity. If you call to get specific info on a product, the folks answering only have access to the very same website you do and no other contact information.

The problem is: why stop with just Target? Why not force all web pages to be blind friendly? However, I wouldn't expect a wallpaper website to have any blind visitors. Or if they decide to only force those that "should" have blind friendly web pages, then who decides which web pages these should be?

The way the business is run should be dictated by the market. If there's profit to be made by selling to blind people and Target wanted to capitalize on it, then they would've voluntarily made their web page blind friendly. If not, then the customer can vote with his/her wallet and go elsewhere - there are certainly many other sites that can accommodate blind people. Getting the government/law involved is not how this should have played out.
 

Michael Daly

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Why not force all web pages to be blind friendly?

Why not get web developers to use the tools that are built into the web to match widely distributed access guidelines that result in disabled-friendly web sites by default? This is a no brainer. However, most developers and businesses can't even match the no-brain requirement.

Getting the government/law involved is not how this should have played out.

ADA resulted from the marketplace. The marketplace chose to ignore all disabled persons regardless. If it was up to the marketplace, only rich white people would have rights. All rights come from government and law. Read your friggen constitution.
 

AliP

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ADA resulted from the marketplace. The marketplace chose to ignore all disabled persons regardless. If it was up to the marketplace, only rich white people would have rights. All rights come from government and law. Read your friggen constitution.

Hey if the market is only open for that then so be it, thats called freedom, I only wait until they start making web pages animal friendly.


And to clarify, no, I am in no way saying that blind people, or colored people, disabled or whatever are animals, my point is the market should be free to decide if there is a market for whatever it is offering and I cannot comprehend why a person has the right to special needs (whatever those may be) inside a store but an "animal" does not, and I'd rather get rid of these laws than whining about what right a dog has to shop somewhere.
 

Michael Daly

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Hey if the market is only open for that then so be it, thats called freedom,

Your constitution provides for equal rights, not freedom to discriminate. The marketplace is about money, not freedom.

I cannot comprehend why a person has the right to special needs (whatever those may be) inside a store but an "animal" does not

That's because you're an ignorant fool.
 

mkirkland

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So do they offer valet service for the blind too? I mean, we already have brail ATM drive through machines because some nub cakes sued for that too.

There's braille on drive through ATMs due to economies of scale; it's cheaper to put braille on all ATMs than it is to put it on only non-drive through ones.
 

AliP

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Your constitution provides for equal rights, not freedom to discriminate. The marketplace is about money, not freedom.


That's because you're an ignorant fool.

If the constitution is the problem then change it.

Equal rights for anyone with the relatively same amount of genetic material? If you cant force the government to establish these rights you don't deserve them, not anymore than any animal.

What makes us so special? Yes, the marketplace is about money, if there is not a market for handicapped people in some area why should they be forced to create it?
 
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