Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Only In California

Here's the 1st paragraph:

(02-08) 1215 PST OAKLAND -- A blind UC Berkeley student has filed a class-action
lawsuit against Target Corp., saying the retailer is committing civil-rights
violations because its Web site is inaccessible to those who cannot see.


I'm going to sue mirror manufacturers because their products are starting to make me look fat. Here in the People's Republic of California, I'd probably win.

3 comments:

Silvermine said...

Many blind people web surf all the time. They use computers, too, by installing screen-readers that read the text out loud.

You can design computer programs and web sites to gracefully handle screenreaders and other features the blind and visually impaired use, or you can make it evil and impossible.

One example is alt text for images. If you put useful text in there, you can make it easier for the blind to follow what's going on.

I know it sounds silly, but it doesn't seem much different to me than requiring companies to have handicapped ramps and such.

(See "accessibility".)

Anonymous said...

Wow...
Why only the Target website?

You should try that lawsuit against the mirrors =P

Darren said...

The article explained about alt-text, but I don't think it should be required.

At Target's brick-and-mortar stores, are the signs telling you what department you're in written in braille? or in any language other than English? Are the newspaper advertisements in braille?

The accessibility argument doesn't fly with me.

It seems to me that there's a perfectly reasonable *market* solution to this problem. Kmart should ensure their web site is totally accessible to the blind. They could market that "sensitivity", and the blind could shop at Kmart's web site. Target gets to do what it wants, Kmart gets more customers, and the blind have somewhere they know they can shop. See? Everyone wins!

As for "Why Target?" the article said they were chosen because they're such a large retailer and they don't have the alt-text functionality in their web site.