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TOPIC: How do you make websites accessible to blind?

How do you make websites accessible to blind? 02 Sep 2008 10:59 #29865

  • BurneyFalls
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Read the article about Target settling for millions of dollars because their website was not friendly to the blind. So, how do we change our websites to make them more accessible to the blind?
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Re:How do you make websites accessible to blind? 02 Sep 2008 11:36 #29866

  • Cinemateer
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You can make them more accessible to the blind mosly by adding alt tags to your images. This seems to be the largest area that web developers fail in that inhibits the blind's alt-seeking software. There are many more things you can do too, but adding alt tags should take care of the majority of the issues... and it's super easy to do.

Use this excellent tool to show you how many errors you have in your website (or any website), what they are, and even where they are in your code. It looks like bigscreenbiz has 46 errors, which is actually pretty good.

http://validator.w3.org/

It's important to note that Target was given 10 months to rectify their website problems for the blind and chose to do nothing. A lawsuit was the NFB's last resort.
"In a place like this, the magic is all around you. The trick is to see it." -Martin Landau
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Re:How do you make websites accessible to blind? 02 Sep 2008 13:42 #29867

  • slapintheface
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This is crazz....Were is this country going........
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Re:How do you make websites accessible to blind? 02 Sep 2008 21:57 #29870

  • Pieman
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what is an alt tag and how does it help blind people??.Ive never heard of it.
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Re:How do you make websites accessible to blind? 03 Sep 2008 00:28 #29873

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slapintheface wrote:
This is crazz....Were is this country going........

Excuse me? What exactly is crazy? I guarantee you would be singing to a different tune if YOU were blind and relied on special software to browse the internet. Try to have just a little compassion, please. I'm happy to do anything to my sites for the blind, deaf, color blind (like me), etc. It takes hardly any time to add alt tags to images.

Pieman- An alt tag is the text you see when you hover your mouse over an image. Go ahead- hover your mouse over the bigscreenbiz logo at the top of this page and you will see "movie theaters, film, bookers, suppliers, owners, operators" appear by your pointer. For the blind, their software speaks these words to them through their speakers. It's actually very cool. So if a website doesn't have alt tags, they hear nothing. They use their keyboard to navigate instead of using a mouse.
"In a place like this, the magic is all around you. The trick is to see it." -Martin Landau
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Re:How do you make websites accessible to blind? 03 Sep 2008 08:58 #29876

  • rufusjack
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I guess the reaction from me was similar to Slap's in that Target had to settle for millions and such on this topic. Is this something that should be adjudicated? Or up to each business to decide? At what cost?

This may be a case where it is any easy fix (which I guess it is) and therefore should not cost much money/resources. I wonder why Target was not already doing that already? What does Wal-Mart do? Must of not been an easy fix for them.

Cinamteer: You say you are happy to help out, but what if it cost you $10,000 to do with probably little if any return on that expense?
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Re:How do you make websites accessible to blind? 03 Sep 2008 09:35 #29877

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I completely understand- suing for millions seems extreme. However, this isn't a case where someone burns themselves on McDonalds coffee and sues. The NFB tried working with Target for over 10 months after asking nicely and Target flat out refused to help, which gave the NFB no choice. It was Target's attitude and lack of concern for the disabled that really ticked off the blind in this case. Personally, I believe the NFB used Target to make the point to others. They're not exactly looking for more companies to sue- I wouldn't worry.

From what I understand (I can only go by what is in the media), the Target website uses very old code and their programmers didn't follow the simple protocol of adding alt tags at the beginning. Now they don't have them, whereas most programmers know that alt codes are a normal part of building a website. They are also used for search optimization (getting your site listed at the top of search engines). Most websites have alt tags and are fine.

We're not talking about a major overhaul of a website here that would cost $10k and the blind are not attacking every website out there. It's a matter of adding a simple line of "title=putyourtexthere" after each image. That's it! A copy/paste for each image on your website and you're done.

To me, making bathroom doors wider to accommodate wheelchairs (which will also not give you any returns... except happy customers) is a MUCH bigger deal and would cost a LOT more than taking 15 minutes to add alt tags to a website.
"In a place like this, the magic is all around you. The trick is to see it." -Martin Landau
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Re:How do you make websites accessible to blind? 03 Sep 2008 12:00 #29879

  • Mike
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Does it ever end? Will there be suits against auto manufacturers because their cars are not "blind friendly"? I was eated next to a guy on an airline that weighed, absolutely minimum, 400+. There was no way he could fit in his portion of seating. Is that fair to me? Should I have sued? I found another seat: good for me and him.

I would think it's a fairly simply thing to make a web site blind friendly but legislating equality does dip it's toe in the insanity river from time to time. IMHO
Michael Hurley
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Re:How do you make websites accessible to blind? 03 Sep 2008 18:01 #29881

  • Larry Thomas
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Actually, both of you should have sued. The miserable airlines have converted flying machines into Greyhounds with wings. Even midgets would have difficulty being comfortable in what passes for "steerage" seating.

And remind me to never sit with you on an airplane!! I hate flying on a good day, and anytime flying is involved, it's not a good day. But when it's required I spring for the necessary first class seat so I don't (a) make myself miserable, and (b) inconvenience any other passengers.

Now if we could only get rid of those screaming, obnoxious urchins. They should be put in the cargo hold.
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