Can't you argue this for literally any company of any kind?
This will set a dangerous precedent and cost businesses a lot of money and adding zero value to most existing paying customers.
So now if I build a shitty website selling homemade candles I can get sued because I didn't use the right accessibility tags?
Also $37k to add features for the blind is ridiculously low.
Isn't this entirely the point, though?
We can make a reasonable assumption that if it were generally profitable to make services and venues accessible, then it would already be done. It's precisely because it's not cost-efficient that regulation has to exist.
That assumes, of course, that you accept the central conceit that it's a good idea to ensure that people with a variety of disabilities can access services and aren't generally shut out of mainstream society.
Quite aside from anything, WCAG is hardly onerous to comply with.
This is pretty much the argument by which all legislation is passed. It will ultimately be the weight of all legislation in the end that will leave the internet in the hands of only large corporations and leave the people without a free internet.
You will also never get what was originally intended. Laws will be passed for regulation which will be turned over to a regulatory agency which will be lobbied by the most powerful corporation which will in turn implement rules for exclusively their benefit outside of the original intent.
The inevitable effect of this kind of legislation is that technology gets worse for everyone, rather than better for a small group.
They're not arbitrary design policies at all. They're standards that exist for a reason. For instance, if you have some text, display it as text, not as an image of text, because a screen reader won't be able to read it.
> The inevitable effect of this kind of legislation is that technology gets worse for everyone, rather than better for a small group.
Actually, complying with accessibility standards makes the web better for everyone. Here's an example. The giant green table on this website used to just be an image. That made the page useless for screen readers, but it also meant that you couldn't copy the data in the table, couldn't resize the text, etc. A common sense change to display this table as text made the page more useful for everyone.
Allowing government to fine or shutdown sites not complying with some set of standards is a very chilling path to go down.
Some standards are enforced by law - fire codes for instance, or food handling standards. Do accessibility standards merit similar treatment? I'd argue that most people now need to use the Internet for basic functions in their lives. For instance, you can't even get a job at a chain grocery store around here without filling out an online application. Given that, there's a strong social interest in making sure that everyone has access. That interest has to be balanced against other interests - costs to businesses for instance. I'm not necessarily suggesting that we should treat WCAG the same way we would treat a fire code (which a government agency enforces) or as we treat ADA building compliance (where customers can sue to force compliance), but I do think that a debate on this issue should look at what these standards actually do, and try to balance the interests. I don't think the parent is doing that.
I'm not sure how you can say this when HN is full of articles about regulatory actions on some industry or other, or some bad actor in that industry.
There is not really any specific encoding of technical requirements in accessibility laws – rather more along the lines of 'reasonable effort must be made' etc.
Frankly it's a ridiculous objection. The burden of complying with WCAG is basically 'have good contrast and mark your forms and element up correctly'.
The real world, being equipped with a distance metric, has this messy problem where you are sometimes forced to be close to other people. I feel like this gives us (collectively) a bit of license to make demands of how nearby people use their physical property. On the other hand, there's no distance metric on the internet, and I'm not (in any sense) forced to live next to the winn-Dixie website.
If the tactic sounds familiar it’s because the same lawyer, Paul Hansmeier...
I knew this name sounds familiar :)
Would be a shame if it wasn't...
Do you feel the same way about wheelchair ramps and handicapped parking?
I am absolutely 100% against the government doing the equivalent of zoning law for privately owned websites. Leaving out the fact that this is almost certainly a bad thing for society (remember how Berkely had to take down their free online classes because some deaf people sued them for not being deaf-friendly enough?), it's also completely indefensible for the government to stick their nose into how people choose to communicate online. "Oh, hey there art website; we're going to have to shut you down because your music and films don't support subtitles and screen readers."
I think we might need more elaboration on why that's the case.
In both situations, you have a company offering services to the public. In one case, legislation says that the services should be accessible to members of the public with certain disabilities. Why should that same legislation not apply because the services are being offered online, rather than in a physical location?
In fact, Winn-Dixie seems particularly incompetent; according to a different article
The software has allowed Gil to use 500 to 600 websites, including Publix,
Walgreens and government sites, but his vocalizing software could not read
information on www.winndixie.com when he tried to order a prescription and
look up store hours. 
I'm confused; do you not see the very obvious contradiction here? Perhaps my use of the word "people" is confusing. The proprietors of a store or an art gallery or other business would also qualify as "people".
> Winn-Dixie on the internet is being treated the same as Winn-Dixie's physical locations.
The internet isn't a physical location. There's no good reason we should pretend it is.
Even if you completely buy the idea that physical storefronts should be forced to adopt certain (possibly socially sub-optimal) standards for the sake of some customer base, this reasoning absolutely does not carry over to private digital communication. You can't just say "a website is like a building" and call it a day. That's simply untrue.
That's a much less ridiculous way of framing the argument.
I absolutely think that if you operate a business online there should be some minimum of accessibility you need to achieve, in exactly the same way we force physical locations to install wheelchair ramps.
America has wholesale adopted in law the idea that we require so-called "sub-optimal standards".
If you want to do business in the US, you need to follow certain regulations. This includes accessibility for online stores. A personal blog or forum, for example, wouldn't need this legally.
Clearly? The huge in that sentence is an opinion. Both wheelchair ramps and web site accessibility guidelines add requirements that cost the owner money, but help give the handicapped access.
Adding a wheelchair ramp is a small fraction of the total costs of making a building, just as making a website properly is a small fraction of making a website. So it's somewhat reasonable to require the (relatively small) change to make the thing more accessible.
On the other hand, in the Berkeley online classes situation, making the lectures deaf-friendly (i.e. doing transcripts or subtitles) was much, much more expensive than making the lectures available in the first place, which amounted pretty much to setting up some simple gear to record something that was already happening. In this case, the required costs were totally out of proportion, and meant that the content became less accessible, i.e. was taken down for everyone.
So the regulations must be taken with a grain of salt - it's easy to write (or interpret) a single sentence that makes a requirement totally disproportionate and not comparable to a wheelchair ramp.
I can't see a way to define the limits of such an exemption without getting collateral damage, so maybe, this amount of collateral damage is about the best we can get?
Also, in the Berkeley case, part of the reason Berkeley deemed the costs too high was that Berkeley had a large backlog of such videos. They have been making new content accessible since spring 2015 (that content also is behind their firewall to prevent 'pirating' (http://news.berkeley.edu/2017/02/24/faq-on-legacy-public-cou...: "Pirates is a term used to describe websites that embed YouTube content without the permission of the original copyright holder for profit. UC Berkeley legacy Course Capture content has been discovered on for-profit websites, which use either a subscription fee or on-page advertising"; "UC Berkeley stopped posting course lecture videos publicly through webcast.berkeley.edu in 2015 as a way to reduce costs and increase adoption.")
First of all, Berkeley didn't have to take down their courses. They elected to, then threw a tantrum about it. And yes, they could have spent money making their videos accessible, but let's not forget that they spent money to get those videos made in the first place, and it isn't as if the requirements that this content be accessible are a huge shocker to a public university that should be no stranger to accommodating disabled students. This is why those of us in the accessibility profession tell clients to build in accessibility right from day one, and this continuing trope of "OMG I didn't realize we needed to make our content accessible! Woe, woe are we!" passed through the realm of disingenuous and into that of pure bullshit a long, long time ago.
"There's clearly a huge difference between having a building code and requiring people to design websites in a certain way. It doesn't matter what your opinion of wheelchair ramps is; the two situations aren't comparable." OK, so as a blind person, I'm supposed to do what? Drive my car to the store when a website won't let me access that store's services? Pay more than someone with their own car to take a Lyft or Uber, assuming either exists in my location? Arrive at said store and hope whatever I want is in stock, take extra time to find an employee to help me shop (which isn't always available...) Where is all this time supposed to come from, and who are you to deprioritize it against that of the large corporation building those accommodations? And BTW, my girlfriend is a wheelchair user, and it does feel to me that the situations are often comparable. She routinely takes extra time accessing a building or its facilities, sometimes can't at all, and let's not even discuss inaccessible bathrooms and the literal blood and tears spent trying to use them. So take it from someone who has experienced both, they are very comparable.
And let's not forget the websites that don't have a physical location associated with them. Just last week I saw a few startups advertising their services here, thought I might use them, went to apply/sign up, then found their sites were completely inaccessible. Their huge, obscure crime? Using div elements without ARIA attributes instead of the HTML markup that would have achieved the same thing. So in the past few weeks I've been denied the ability to apply for jobs, purchase products, or even launch interesting side projects that might build my skills or improve my resume, all because web developers can't be bothered, and let's not forget that when I am hired by someone, I either can't use tools like Basecamp and Slack effectively, or they're such pains that it's easier to self-host open source tools llike Rocket.chat and Wekan, both of which I've submitted accessibility patches to. And people wonder why I don't bother looking for work anymore.
"I am absolutely 100% against the government doing the equivalent of zoning law for privately owned websites." Then on behalf of disabled folks everywhere, stay the hell away from building websites. I for one am sick and tired of fighting with people like you whose anti-regulation stance happily throws me under the bus, and I haven't even scratched the surface regarding the ways that an inaccessible web has and continues to hinder me.
If I seem furious, well, here's a challenge. Fire up Orca, NVDA or VoiceOver, all free screen readers, and try to use api.ai with your eyes closed. Fail, then imagine you spent the last few hours reading up about how you might build a Google Assistant bot to provide real-time transit information, and that you now need to find an api.ai alternative that is accessible, assuming such a thing exists (wit.ai is also inaccessible, my accessibility issues apparently made the support staff's day to read about, but they're probably not resolved and probably never will be.) Multiply that by, say, 10 for a handful of other projects I named. I could call out more recent startups, but I'd probably start stepping on the toes of some folks reading this, and if you aren't building in accessibility from day one or paying me to advise you on fixing it, then I'd basically be volunteering for a full-time job's worth of work pointing out the ways in which a given complex service isn't accessible.
So you can stop worrying that society will crumble
Captions are for the hearing impaired. There are also requirements for audio description for the vision impaired (additional audio describing important aspects of a video not conveyed through the original audio track). There's very little enforcement of this as it's often challenging to produce and non-synced text is often good enough.
Really? I don't know how big the Winn-Dixe site is, but making your site accessibly friendly isn't really that hard. HTML spec is made for this, so as long as you're not actively fucking things up, you should be fine.
How much does $37k buy you in consultancy days? About 33 days (assuming $1100/day - about how much ThoughtWorks charges in Australia).
I think the people who you perceive as "overestimating/overcomplicating" have first-hand understanding of what it truly takes to execute formal process and verification which unambiguously demonstrates compliance, given:
1.) the courts are now involved...this in itself introduces an unprecedented level of complication;
2.) product and workflow are already established;
3.) legal mandate requires compliance with qualitative guidelines, as opposed to hard specification;
4.) scope of applicability and impact to existing product/workflow have yet to be determined...requirements traceability based on interpretted guidelines will almost certainly be a cluster fuck;
5.) a level of uncertainty from guideline disclaimers, e.g., even content that conforms at the highest level (AAA) will not be accessible to individuals with all types, degrees, or combinations of disability.
6.) use of non-standard, 3rd-party tools (e.g. screen readers) clearly had an impact on legal decision, which suggests additional impact to compliance verification;
Keeping your quote in context, where did it come from and when did this become a requirement? As far as I can tell, this only became scope when a legal decision was made that classified Winn-Dixie's website as heavily integrated, rendering ADA compliance applicable.
I think we are, in the context of what I was responding to there. It means changing the workflow of the team, such that accessibility constraints are taken into account. Teams already operate with constraints like that; I don't see it as a remarkable change of workflow.
We're talking about wholesale refactoring of an existing product/workflow, if not a complete redesign depending on scope of impact.
No, you're not. Unless you have produced an already catastrophically ill-designed product, your accessibility adaptations will not involve substantial redesigns.
I respectfully beg to differ. At best, you've made quite gratuitous assumptions on impact to workflow realignment, which assumes requirements traceability and formal verification was even a thing this team was already familiar with. Sure, some teams may already operate with constraints like that, but we're talking about this team, which may or may not conform to your standards definition; all other teams are irrelevant.
> No, you're not. Unless you have produced an already catastrophically ill-designed product...
The phrase ill-designed product is objectively meaningful in the context of hard requirements. Until this legal judgement, ADA compliance simply wasn't a requirement...hindsight is 20/20.
Suffice it to say we know nothing of their team's competency, existing architecture, scale of product, workflow complexity, verification process, level of impact, funding availability, etc. In other words, we know absolutely nothing, so it's unsurprising that you're struggling to see where the cost is. From a risk management perspective, you've taken an optimistic hand-waving stance in the face of so many uncertainties. With the courts involved and legal mandate on the table, do you really think the game being played hasn't changed? For the sake of this web dev team, I hope you're correct.
Getting on the wrong side of simple guidelines like WCAG really does require actively user-hostile processes from the dev team, and if that can be shut down via lawsuit, then hooray.
How you've twisted the facts...judgement was based on the determination that Winn-Dixie’s website is heavily integrated with the company’s physical store locations, making it subject to the ADA...key phrase: heavily integrated...which was the point of contention. Judgement was based on the applicability of ADA to a company's website, not the scope of how badly inaccessible the website was.
> ...requires you to be expending effort and time and money to screw up. It's not something that you just accidentally do out of ignorance.
Because web design is a static practice that never changes, right? With as much dynamic crap associated with the latest UX trend these days, it's surprising that anything modern conforms to a generalized definition of accessible.
And yes, you really do have to go out of your way to build something a modern screen reader can't handle.
Only from this determination does everything else follow.
Citing the list of issues remaining to be determined from opinion, verdict and order: (2) and (3) are contextually relevant questions iff (1) was judged in the affirmative.
> And yes, you really do have to go out of your way to build something a modern screen reader can't handle.
On this note, I suppose we simply agree to disagree.
And the only way there's a violation for the court to deal with is if the site is inaccessible.
The same could be (and was) said of mandatory wheelchair ramps.
I've had to half-ass software accessibility requirements before--the company had government contracts, so they did the absolute minimum necessary to avoid violating the letter of the ADA, without any effort to actually make it usable. It made me feel sick. Just like wheelchair ramps, accessible site design is easy if you plan for it from the beginning, like you should. It's only hard if you've been half-assing it for years and then have to go back and fix it, the same as any other technical debt.
Isn't that the point of the ADA?
The people who wrote all those laws know about the Internet, now. Get ready.
Not sure how realistic this estimate is, but I wonder how much Winn-Dixie has spent on their lawyers on this case to AVOID making their site ADA compatible.
In fact, sites that are accessible to people with disabilities tend to be pretty nice for everyone to use because most of accessibility comes from not spewing a bunch of slow, unusable crap into all your pages.
I'm betting they will be able to find violations everywhere.
[Edit] To take another example, 10% of men are colorblind. If you're using color to convey information, you may be making your website very difficult to use for 5% of your customers. If you're operating at any kind of scale, the gains in making your website easier to use for 5% of your customers are going to outweigh the costs of making a change by a wide margin.
Accessible web sites are not difficult. Odds are if you do web stuff, you have accidentally produced WCAG-compliant websites in the past without knowing you were doing it.
So please stop pushing the narrative about how "they" are out to "find something" and sue you and implying that WCAG is too complex to comply with. It's not, and frankly it's offensive -- disabled people have, morally and legally, exactly the same right to be able to use the internet you do, and WCAG is a guide to how you can make that happen.
I have no right to demand people bend the web to my whim, but I have ever right to use software to render it on my own computer just how I want it. It really seems like better screen reader software and removing of this archaic law is a better solution here.
Also the incredibly nitpicky stuff is happening, even in the physical world - http://m.startribune.com/flurry-of-disability-lawsuits-leave...
The ADA is the law of the land: if you're a business open to the public, you have to be open to all of the public, not just the members of the public who you think are most convenient to serve.
And history has shown that the horrible, terrible, awful no-good frivolous demands of the ADA have positive effects for everybody. Read up on things like how people with children in strollers have a much easier time getting around cities now because street-corner curbs have to have areas accessible to people in wheelchairs.
Also, notice how in the Winn-Dixie website suit the plaintiff didn't ask for damages: he just wanted the site to be accessible. The amount of viciousness being deployed in the thread toward someone whose only goal was for something to work is unbelievable, and I think if you look into it you'll find that on the whole, ADA complaints are someone's last resort after trying to amicably resolve a problem through other channels.
No, its pointing out the law still has problems and has been used as a money making scheme. It, like code, has bugs that need to be remedied. Arguing the code does it job expect for some bad actors is just as problematic when talking about laws. I am also troubled by the picking of something not voted on being given the force of law (WCAG 2.0 Level AA).
I'm actually really sick of people using phrases like "completely invalidate" when that is not what I wrote. Hyperbole and beating people over the head who disagree with you is not a constructive way to proceed.
I cannot understand how people who code cannot get that the law needs tweaks and fixes just like code. I would prefer a formal notice to a law suit. We are about to unleash a whole new category of violation and even a suit that asks for no damages is going to be expensive.
Oh yes, in this case they didn't ask for damages, but that won't be the case next time when more bad actors appear.
This is how the infamous McDonald's coffee lawsuit got started, for example; the plaintiff (who, for those unfamiliar with the story, had suffered second and third degree burns from the spilled coffee -- not exactly a case of "duh, it's hot" and more a case of "demonstrably not fit for human consumption") originally just wrote to them to complain. And they were, predictably, assholes to her, which led to research into how many people had suffered severe burns, which in turn led to the lawsuit.
So either you want to make a change that won't change anything (require some number of "notices" or non-lawsuit "complaints" before going to court), or you want to make a change that will literally undo the ADA (disallow going to court, period). Since neither of those is viable, the right of everyone to have equal access to businesses which are open to the public -- and to have that enforced by courts -- is going to outweigh your fevered nightmares of a lawsuit apocalypse.
Once again with the hyperbole.
> .. McDonald's ..
I don't see any equivalence to what I am talking about to that case. Writing them is not mentioned in any current law as a procedural way to remedy the situation. Its a nice courtesy that was ignored.
> It's always going to end up in a lawsuit. To a company that's running an actively user-hostile web presence, no amount of non-lawsuit complaints will get them to change, which means it's going to end up in court no matter what.
No, its not always going to end up in a lawsuit. A regulatory notice is a fair first start with a defined period for response and fix. Love it or hate it, the DMCA notice is not a bad starting point that saves quite a bit of court time. Dealing with a notice from a government agency (e.g. health inspector) is not something that can be ignored.
Unluckily for you, we as a society decided that we will accommodate those with disabilities rather than just look at their business value. If we only made choices based on utility, we'd already be implementing widespread eugenics and killing off anyone who gets sick or old. And it wasn't a case of not using the right accessibility tags, check out the quote in another comment, his software couldn't read any text. 
The web as it is now is unreadable for sited and blind people so I really have a hard time feeling bad for site designers.
It is the same path we have seen many industry go down. At some point, large corporation will begin to lobby for regulations in order to remove smaller competition.
It's a fantasy to complain that these requirements are onerous.
But a huge amount of difference to a particular subset of users. Which is the point.
I highly disagree that requiring businesses have accessible services is a "dangerous precedent".
I went to their website and ran Wave. It looks like from a few pages I sampled most of it is just adding alt-tags. So seems like a single or two developers with the right tools and testing could fix their website page by page over a couple of months probably. A huge store chain shouldn't be a problem to afford unlike a small tiny startup.
"Separate but equal" was (essentially) shot down by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. How can enjoyment be equal if by definition sighted people have a superset of abilities of blind people? The only way would be to not present a visual interface at all, and only provide an audio or screen-reader interface to any given website.
Great, now instead of a manger that has no clue on estimates, we get to deal with and outside testing firm.
I've told this story before: When I first learned about HTML in a magazine article, one of the promised benefits was that you could create specialized browsers that could use the tags to interpret a site in various ways. One of the possibilities mentioned in the article was a browser for the blind.
What I think has happened subsequently is that the Web quickly went from rather plain HTML, to being a general purpose programming language for rendering arbitrary content on a specific collection of browsers.
I'd be happy to switch my site back to plain HTML, like what I wrote in an evening when I first launched my business.
A fair amount is just common sense, but some parts require deliberate changes.
A huge social benefit of the Internet is to connect everyone and make information accessible to all.. It has changed our world for the better.
People with disabilities should not be excluded from this.
Someone decided that developers must comply with disability technologies, and not have disability technologies built around the existing technologies. And most developers had no argument in that battle. Now we have aria attributes sitting inside of our HTML.
And most likely because businesses are going to push this down on their existing developers, meaning they will need to devote time and energy learning what ADA and the WCAG standards are and figure out accessibility testing while maintaining all of their previous responsibilities.
But really, we shouldn't need to do any of that.
We should have tools that allow us to comply to these standards with little effort. We should have tools for the disabled that are as brilliant as Google search. We should have testing frameworks that test our websites for this.
Why the hell are we spending money on suing companies instead of spending it on research for curing disabilities? Where's my damn artificial eyes and ears I was promised decades ago? All I got was this stupid lawsuit.
Is any of that being built for the next generations of developers who probably get no accessibility training in college or dev bootcamps or internet tutorials? Do businesses even send their devs to accessibility coding conferences or workshops?
FYI we do have lots of tools and frameworks that make developing for accessibility relatively straightforward.. But you have to want to do it, and you have to know how to do it. This takes education and learning, but most worthwhile things do.
Sayings things like "businesses are going to push it down on their existing developers" is looking at this all wrong.
Developers should be building accessible websites in the first place.
Sorry, we've got like ten other people telling us we need to "build websites with <this> in first place". Accessibility is just another line item at the same point as security, scalability, and resilience.
And for what it's worth, I would prioritize security over accessibility any day of the week.
It's very easy of you to ask all developers to design websites with accessibility in mind. To push all of these requirements onto someone else.
But keep piling on responsibility onto your devs and watch how they build everything in mediocrity because you don't give them time to become good at anything.
The field is utter chaos.
Just because you need to build an accessible website doesn't mean it can't be secure and scalable too.
I'm not sure where you've layered in all these constraints I never brought up (perhaps projecting from your own situation?) but it goes without saying that all aspects of a project need to be properly scoped and planned and given the correct amount of time to be built, and need to be done by people who know what they're doing.
If you just see accessibility as "yet another thing I need to do that I don't have time for", then maybe you just need a better job?
I've lobbied for accessibility, including explicit support for screenreaders, at every company where I've worked since ~2007.
Politically though, I'm wholly against laws to require this sort of thing. If a company wants to alienate 15% of their potential market (the blind and colorblind), more power to them.
Heavily integrated?? GTFO.
10+ years of shopping at Winn-Dixie...until today, number of instances I've visited their website: precisely zero
The applicability of bathrooms, handicap stalls, parking ramps, etc. are predicated by the existence of B&M store fronts, which is their primary mode of consumer-facing business and drives the requirement of ADA compliance.
To the point of integration, I challenge you to point out any mechanism that would prohibit me from completing an in-store transaction to the non-compliant disadvantage of the disabled without requiring a visit to their website.
Since proof is the exclusive domain of mathematics, I can merely demonstrate with high certainty that 10+ years of shopping at Winn-Dixie--slightly biased as a tech-oriented customer with a professional engineering background--has yet to compel me otherwise.
You can get coupons on their website. As a blind person, I would need to take extra steps in order to get those coupons.
You can refill prescriptions online and save time, rather than waiting in the store.
There you go. Time to stop moaning and get busy and start making the website ADA compliant.
> has yet to compel me otherwise.
Again, I've never used their handicap bathroom. Or any of their bathrooms. You having not used it is a very weak argument. Apparently it wouldn't even stand up in a court of law.
Restated, point out a material disadvantage that I would directly suffer if I didn't visit their website...you'd have to establish that I must visit this website before you can make a valid argument. Failing to clearly establish this criterion begs to question what it means to be heavily integrated.
> You can get coupons on their website. As a blind person, I would need to take extra steps in order to get those coupons.
You mean the same coupons that are provided 1.) at the entrance of each store; 2.) posted on applicable product in every isle; 3.) stuffed in your snail mailbox; and 4.) spammed to your e-mail inbox. Your argument is asymptotic to a B&M store which doesn't have a website being legally required to create and maintain one in compliance with the ADA because electronic coupons are somehow universally equitable to the visually impaired...and yet here we are discussing litigation precisely because they're not.
> You can refill prescriptions online and save time, rather than waiting in the store.
So what you're saying is the time it takes for someone who is visually impaired to independently navigate and fill out a compliant web form is, in some qualitative sense of average, less than the time it would take for a pharmacy specialist without an equivalent disability to perform the same task. Oh how easily this digital generation has forgotten that a vanilla phone call is a valid method of achieving certain end goals.
> Again, I've never used their handicap bathroom. Or any of their bathrooms. You having not used it is a very weak argument.
Again, your counter-argument is a red herring and irrelevant: the existence of handicap bathroom provisions is a requirement of ADA compliance, which is predicated on and applicable to the existence of a B&M store front...it has nothing to do a website! It doesn't matter that you've never used the physical resource; there's clear and established requirements traceability to existing statute.
To wit, what wasn't clearly delineated was website != public accommodation, which the court disagreed with based on the premise that the website in question was, by their definition, heavily integrated with the company's physical store locations.
Accessibility of the website is not what's being questioned...I'm calling bullshit on the legal finding that this website was heavily integrated.
The onus is on you to understand the logic.
Yes. Those same coupons. It takes less time to get them on the website when it works. The extra time it takes to for those other methods you listed is a "material inconvenience" for a blind person. All of the methods you listed require the assistance of another person. Getting them from the website does not require the assistance of another person.
> So what you're saying is the time it takes for someone who is visually impaired to independently navigate and fill out a compliant web form is, in some qualitative sense of average, less than the time it would take for a pharmacy specialist without an equivalent disability to perform the same task.
Yes. If there is a long line.
And a blind person doesn't have to wait at the pharmacy for 20 minutes after having the pharmacist do what could have completed at home at their own convenience. That again is a "material disadvantage" that people who are not blind do not have to suffer: 1) wait in line for the pharmacist. 2) wait again for the script to be filled.
There is also the question of privacy. A blind person has no way of telling who is listening in on the conversation while at the pharmacy counter. A non-blind person is able to use the website to enjoy this added privacy.
You should read the court ruling (only 13 pages) so you can learn all of the above and more details about why the court ruled the way it did.
> It doesn't matter that you've never used the physical resource; there's clear and established requirements traceability to existing statute.
It's good to see you're finally starting to understand that whether or not you have personally used the website (or bathroom) has nothing to do with the law. Agreed this lawsuit covers new territory. But your usage (or lack usage) of the website proves nothing about how integrated the website is with the physical location.
> The onus is on you to understand the logic.
If there's any onus, it's on Winn Dixie to fix their website. Per the court ruling. And perhaps the onus is on you to stop making assumptions about the life of a blind person, and to read the court ruling in full so you don't make ignorant sounding statements about what is and isn't convenient for a blind person compared to a non-blind person.
How convenient that you've completely ignored the intentfully positioned point (4) and purposely withheld point (5) mobile app, then proceed to conflate subjective inconvenience with objective disadvantage, then fail to address the asymptotic counter-point given. There exists more than one method to acquire the same coupons: none of which are exclusive to a particular distribution medium, all of which are subjectively inconvenient to some degree, and at least one of which is accessible to the visually impaired.
> And a blind person doesn't have to wait...
How convenient that you've completely ignored the prepostured phone call alternative remark, then substantiate your realigned definition of disadvantage with conditionally objective points and still fail to acknowledge that the mentioned alternative affords the same privilege which is not inaccessible to the visually impaired. There exists more than one way to expedite a prescription refill: none of which are exclusive to a particular process, all of which are subjectively inconvenient to some degree, and at least one of which is accessible to the visually impaired.
> There is also the question of privacy. A blind person has no way of telling who is listening...
A blind person doesn't have to vocalize a single word to conceal privacy-sensitive information and still effectively communicate at an open pharmacy counter: fold a prepared (written, typed, whatever means favorable to the blind) piece of paper containing sensitive information, pass said private message to pharmacist when applicable. Paper not accessible? Try text on mobile. Keypad not accessible? Try any speech-to-text mobile app. Mobile not accessible? Try a phone call from your favorite secluded location. Common sense for anyone who isn't mentally impaired and doesn't have a thinly veiled legal agenda. There exists more than one way to achieve derivative privacy: none of which are exclusive to a particular channel, all of which are subjectively inconvenient to some degree, and at least one of which is accessible to the visually impaired.
But I'm protecting my privacy under HIPPA, says Gil. If this claim were even remotely legitimate, pharmacy counters wouldn't have any semblance to physically adjacent open check-out lines, and HIPPA would mandate it so, not the ADA. Even if on some Twin Earth privacy in a deliberately open public accommodation were a legitimate concern, it would impact all in-store customers without discrimination...and since both normal and visually impaired customers have alternative means of achieving the same benefit of derivative privacy, no inherent disadvantage exists.
> And perhaps the onus is on you to stop making assumptions about the life of a blind person, and to read the court ruling in full...
The plaintiff describes his "inconveniences" in sufficient detail for me to opine at will...no unfounded assumptions required. I really don't care what is and isn't inconvenient to the visually impaired because the contention I was initially remarking on was the court's decision of classifying Winn-Dixie's website as heavily integrated...to which you've provided no relevant argument against, and in which it appears you've lost complete sight of. This discussion has clearly digressed to the point where nothing constructive may come of it. Therefore, I submit privilege of the last word to you.
If you still can't see that, that's ok. Winn Dixie will fix their website regardless of your curious position.
More importantly I'll add that you've been increasing patronizing and condescending with some of your remarks, and for your own sake, I hope you don't talk to people like this when you are face to face. Your last two replies come off as a cringe-worthy attempt to demonstrate intellectual superiority ("look ma, how smart I am"), or perhaps a style of speaking learned from debating club. Everything you said could have been said using simpler words, fewer words, and it would have been clearer and easier to read. If you do talk like this when you are no longer behind a computer screen, you might see an significant increase in the quality of your relationships if you tried hard to at least pretend that other people are your equals and deserve respect when you speak to them.
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -- Maya Angelou
I hope the web development industry will self-correct itself and get serious about a11y principles in websites before laws get made that convolute what web developers do best.
ABC15 Arizona also did a story https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D60we_4VZGY
Another interesting thing is building inspectors that work for the city, don't care about ADA only city codes from my understanding. I never dealt with them, but after watching this segment I can see violations all over when I go places. Like ADA is 20 years old and my city doesn't even have curb cuts for wheelchairs. Plus some small towns websites have bad low contrast or horrible fonts. I also think some flat UI designs are really horrible to tell things apart.
Sad thing, some of these lawyers doing this only cares about making money, and not actually helping accessibility.
There's a bill in Congress H.R.620
- https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/620 that is meant to reform this. Basically you'd write a written complaint to the business, Then the business gets 60 days to reply outlining how they will improve it. Then 120 days to actually fix it. You can't just go out right suing, they get a chance to correct it. If they aren't correct it, then you get to sue. Seems fair to both the business owners, and accessibility.
There was one case I remember when watching related videos before, that someone had to pay a lawyer 5K and all the work they had to do is move the soap dispenser. Something the business owner himself was able to do with a screwdriver and 15 mins. Then someone else had to pay 5K over missing a $50 sign, another quick fix. I guess if H.R.620 was the law, with those really small changes they could just fix it right away and reply saying they already fixed it outlining how.
On the side note, making captions helps SEO find your video, and powers the transcripts. Sometimes watching a long presentation like a hour long, later I'll be working on somthing and remember hearing about the problem before... So I'll look up the video, go to transcripts and ctrl-f. I was listening to a podcast on a walk one day, and wanting to write down some notes when I got home of some points that interested me... But no transcript, so I'd have to go back and listen to find it again...
However, somethings I think might be impossible to make accessible like complex applications for 3D Virtual worlds, 3D Modeling, Camara filters, Photo editing.
Also wonder how this would apply to user generated content. Should Facebook or YouTube or the uploader be sued for some random vlogger not captioning a video, or some individual live streaming from their phone? I'd surely hope there'd be exemptions for those websites, probably Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act would cover that case. However if a business uploaded a video to YouTube, then that business should caption it for sure. However, I hope lawyers don't start going after individual YouTubers... Didn't caption that video of your family at the theme park? $5,000 demand letter! That would get ridiculous if lawyers ever attempted to do that.
But these lawyers create 1000s of lawsuits. They are the offline equivalent of patent and copyright trolls. Send out a bunch of letters, scare a business owner and make a quick buck. Most of the time they never even go to court. The lawyers just care about making quick bucks, they could care less about accessibility.
A judge threw out 1,000+ lawsuits of a lawyer doing this before. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0dJ06AHwOI
I rather see correction than punishment. Things like this is just a turn off to starting businesses, and letting megacorps who can hire a army of lawyers take over the planet. I think if business owners are doing their best with their resources, if they mess up, give them time to correct it. Instead of paying lawyers thousands and thousands, they can spend that money instead on fixing the issue - and sometimes the fixes are basically free like moving a soap dispenser.
Florida lawmakers are trying to stop drive by lawsuits. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYn36DSDJng
But I really hope H.R.620 passes so it's applied to all 50 states federally. I think it's fair to both the disabled and the business owners. In the end, the only thing should matter is that things are fixed and made accessibly - not lining lawyers pockets.
Wow https://youtu.be/hEQPUJjIdAc this one lawyer just wanted money and didn't even want proof it got fixed. Thankfully the restaurant owner found another lawyer willing to fight the other lawyer pro bono and won! Also this video at the end explains H.R.620