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Proposed ADA Requirements May Affect Public Internet Use

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the allocating-the-best-e-parking-spots dept.

Government 420

An anonymous reader writes "The Associated Press is reporting on federal officials who want to expand the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to require accommodations by public websites, call centers, and technology providers. Hearings are scheduled in Chicago, Washington, and San Francisco. New rules could be implemented as soon as 2012. 'For more than a decade, the Justice Department has interpreted the ADA to apply to websites that offer goods and services. But now that idea could be clarified, and timetables for compliance could be set. ... The Justice Department is considering making it clear that some personal, noncommercial content would not be affected.'"

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What's next? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34237596)

Drive-through fast-food menus in Braille?

Re:What's next? (2, Informative)

twotailakitsune (1229480) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237876)

Blind people sit in the seat behind the driver. Driver takes them to ATM. Roll down window. Use braille on drive up ATM. That is what Bind people use driver up ATM for. So they don't have to tell everyone their PIN.

Re:What's next? (3, Interesting)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237976)

Actual reason for braile on drive up ATMs: it's cheaper to make one model of ATM buttons and have some that don't get fully used than to make two molds for ATM keys, one without braille. To use the analogy backwards from how I originally heard it, it's like male nipples. Nipples start developing before sex determination, and it's simpler just to leave them there but unused than to come up with a system to remove them in males.

Re:What's next? (2, Insightful)

Xaositecte (897197) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237940)

I always figured it was because the keys were mass-produced, and it's cheaper to just make a few more with braille still on them then to create special "Drive-through ATMs"

Fine with me (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237606)

I use a content management system which, if it does not already implement alt tags for all images, can be easily coaxed to do so. And I use (so far as I am able) standards-compliant markup, so this is not going to affect me.

It's even long been possible to have accessible flash. So what's the problem exactly? It's not like the web would lose anything but dead weight...

Re:Fine with me (2, Insightful)

Shados (741919) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237646)

That it takes a LOOOOOOOOOT more than a few alt tags, standard compliant markup and Flash that can be screen scraped to be ADA compliant. Its a freagin nightmare, and a lot of people who think they are compliant, are not, unless their web site is EXTREMELY simple.

For all practical purpose, its impossible to ACTUALLY be compliant. They're just a bit soft over it...

Re:Fine with me (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237726)

For all practical purpose, its impossible to ACTUALLY be compliant. They're just a bit soft over it...

How hard is it to use HTML and CSS the way they were meant to be used, and to provide alternative content? Sorry, not buying this one at all.

Re:Fine with me (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237798)

How hard is it to use HTML and CSS the way they were meant to be used

It's really easy. Problem is, they weren't designed with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 in mind.

Re:Fine with me (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237844)

HTML and CSS can not accomplish what the ADA is demanding.

Think about screen reader technology for the blind. Today even the best of these can not even handle a mildly complex page. I've tried them out at a friends house. They are crap.

But it doesn't stop at your content. You are also responsible for all the advertising on your site, even when you don't create that advertising. Why should you serve a page without advertising to the blind? If that's how you make money for your site, you need to serve the ads to everyone.

How do you serve music to the deaf? Hmmm mmmm dum de dumm ta ta de da mmmm de mmmm?

And how do you serve online game content to the guy typing with his one hand, or his feet.

If you think this is easy, why don't you try it. The tools don't yet exist to do this in any economical way. If enforced to the letter, this serves only to drive most product advertising and support services off the web, shut down thousands of hobby sites, and shutter eCommerce.

Re:Fine with me (1)

fotbr (855184) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237912)

If enforced to the letter, this serves only to drive most product advertising and support services off the web, shut down thousands of hobby sites, and shutter eCommerce.

I think it's more likely to push most of it (at least the product advertising and support, and ecommerce -- hobby sites are probably screwed) to shell companies and hosting solutions overseas.

Re:Fine with me (1)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237916)

It won't shut down hobby sites if they are clearly private in the TOS. I run a site where I inform people on the way in that the forum is run by a power mad dictator that -

well here's the exact bit

"Is this a public forum?

No, this isn't a public forum, this is a private forum run by a Power Mad Lemming bent on taking over the world, and His mostly insane Sidekick Lackey (of EVIL) Blakwing. We will continue to be the sole arbiters of what is allowed or disallowed in the forum

What about "Freedom of speech"?

Nice concept - but we don't adhere to it.Furthermore we reserve the right to edit, change, bend , fold, spindle, or manipulate your posts at any time for any given reason we decide to use. As stated Previously - Life ain't fair. and we intend on keeping it that way.

This board IS a dictatorship. Keep that in mind while posting.
"

I also don't run any advertising. I.E. No profit.

My site will be fine if they decide to crack down.

Re:Fine with me (5, Insightful)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237962)

HTML and CSS can not accomplish what the ADA is demanding.

Think about screen reader technology for the blind. Today even the best of these can not even handle a mildly complex page. I've tried them out at a friends house.

So, people will be encouraged to stop making needlessly overcomplicated sites. It sounds like nothing of value will be lost.

They are crap.

Assuming you mean the sites that don't work well when spoken, then yes. Assuming you mean the readers, then I disagree.

But it doesn't stop at your content. You are also responsible for all the advertising on your site, even when you don't create that advertising. Why should you serve a page without advertising to the blind? If that's how you make money for your site, you need to serve the ads to everyone.

How do you serve music to the deaf? Hmmm mmmm dum de dumm ta ta de da mmmm de mmmm?

And how do you serve online game content to the guy typing with his one hand, or his feet.

If you think this is easy, why don't you try it. The tools don't yet exist to do this in any economical way. If enforced to the letter, this serves only to drive most product advertising and support services off the web, shut down thousands of hobby sites, and shutter eCommerce.

I doubt you'll actually get many complaints for lack of advertising, especially considering that isn't really your "content." I've never heard of an ADA case where a blind person complained that they couldn't read a posted advertising flyer on a bulletin board in a store. If it does mean that the horrible chain of dozens of domains and layers of Javascript for ads has to go away so you just serve your ads yourself, meh. I'm still having trouble finding a lot of problems with this. You serve music to the deaf the same way you do everybody else. They just won't listen to it. Wall-Mart sells music on CD's. Deaf people are allowed to buy them. WalMart doesn't have to have employees to interpretive dance on command for deaf people who want to buy a CD but can't hear it. How do you serve content to the guy with one hand? Same way as everybody else. He'll probably just suck at league play against people who can push more buttons faster.

ADA compliance isn't about making every cripple get to win the Super Bowl, and every blind person win an Academy award for cinematography. It's about making minimal reasonable accommodations so that a person can live their life to the extent that is sensible. The government is involved, so there will probably be a few inane edge cases, but the basic principle here seems sound.

Re:Fine with me (0, Flamebait)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238032)

So you are fine with totally redesigning the net under government edict.

I'm not.

Re:Fine with me (1)

haystor (102186) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238008)

How much cheaper would it be for you to settle a suit for $2k instead of going to court to prove you are compliant?

Re:Fine with me (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238158)

provide alternative content

that can be fucking expensive

Re:Fine with me (1)

literaldeluxe (1527087) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237838)

That it takes a LOOOOOOOOOT more than a few alt tags, standard compliant markup and Flash that can be screen scraped to be ADA compliant. Its a freagin nightmare, and a lot of people who think they are compliant, are not, unless their web site is EXTREMELY simple.

For all practical purpose, its impossible to ACTUALLY be compliant. They're just a bit soft over it...

No, it isn't. We're effectively talking about WCAG 2.0 here (the revision to Section 508 that should come out in a year or two is being based on it), and AA compliance is really not difficult, unless you ignore accessibility until after you've finished designing a site. A little forethought and it's easy as pie.

Re:Fine with me (2, Interesting)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237994)

...and AA compliance is really not difficult, unless you ignore accessibility until after you've finished designing a site.

So what you're saying is that compliance will be difficult for any site that was designed before the new rules (which will come out in a year or two) go into effect.

You can't ignore what doesn't currently exist, you can only ignore it after it exists.

If any of the sites I run falls under these requirements, they will probably have to come down, since I don't have time to go back and redo everything that has already been done. That means that people who can't currently get to my content still won't be able to, and those who can will lose it. That sounds like a lose-lose situation to me.

Re:Fine with me (2, Interesting)

literaldeluxe (1527087) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238016)

...and AA compliance is really not difficult, unless you ignore accessibility until after you've finished designing a site.

So what you're saying is that compliance will be difficult for any site that was designed before the new rules (which will come out in a year or two) go into effect.

You can't ignore what doesn't currently exist, you can only ignore it after it exists.

If any of the sites I run falls under these requirements, they will probably have to come down, since I don't have time to go back and redo everything that has already been done. That means that people who can't currently get to my content still won't be able to, and those who can will lose it. That sounds like a lose-lose situation to me.

WCAG 2.0 has been out for two years. The revision to Section 508 will be based on it. http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/ [w3.org]

Re:Fine with me (5, Interesting)

euphemistic (1850880) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237866)

This is what I thought until I did have to actually make standards compliant websites. I'm a web designer/developer for a government dept (not in the US though), and they require all websites and content to be accessible to those with disabilities and in regional areas with extremely low-bandwidth connections. I thought this would be hard, but making something standards compliant is really just a matter of checking a few extra things here and there, and adding a couple of extra features here and there, that's all it takes. It is actually less tedious and time-consuming than making a site work consistently across browsers. Got a video or audio file? Subtitle it or add a document which has a transcription. That's the hearing impaired taken care of. Low bandwidth audience? Compress those images and use them sparingly. Visually impaired? Make sure your designs have good text-background contrast, maybe add a text size changer in the website, and that's the low-level guys taken care of. For the completely blind, you just have to make sure your alt tags are in there, your CSS isn't a cryptic/poorly constructed clusterfuck and things are intuitively labelled.

Only problem I have is that I have to buy a license for JAWS so I can test out my stuff on it; otherwise i use NVDA (open source & free download) just to make sure it's basically good.

Re:Fine with me (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238006)

Got a video or audio file? Subtitle it or add a document which has a transcription.

I deal with image data. Pictures. Automatically taken, from many places many times a day. If I have to "add a document" describing each picture I would have no time to eat or sleep anymore.

Re:Fine with me (1)

euphemistic (1850880) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238104)

I was actually thinking "add a document" in terms of transcribing video/audio with a bunch of speech in them. In your case, assuming the image isn't also a link to somewhere, an alt tag would be more than sufficient with the details "Picture of Y, taken at Z at X time". This should probably be in the meta-data of the images anyway and it would be trivial to write a small program to extract it and automate this for you. If it's a link as well, you just add a few words describing its purpose like "click for larger version". It doesn't need a thesis or anything, the visually impaired aren't looking for a web-shakespeare.

Seriously though, this stuff isn't hard and doesn't even have to be unnecessarily time-consuming.

Re:Fine with me (1)

osgeek (239988) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237816)

Here's the quick ref for WCAG 2.0 [w3.org] . I'm helping a client to become conformant. It's a pain just to read through the quick ref. It's a lot more than just alt tags.

Re:Not Fine with me (1)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238134)

This is a huge project, and in many cases from what I've seen, even sites that are compliant are not that useable. It's not that you shouldn't make your site accessible, more customers = more money, right? It's that the "experts" that write these regulations are lawyers and bureaucrats that typically know fuck all about the industry they are regulating from a practical point of view, and are often driven by experts who have skin in the game.

I also take issue with some of the points in the article.:

Firstly, only about .3% of Americans (the article is about the ADA before you jump on me about being US centric) are deaf, and only about 2% have severe hearing impairment. I'm not sure why the deaf are included since the web is primarily a visual medium. Will we be expected to provide transcripts for YouTube videos now? Will Apple need to provide transcripts for all the songs sold on Itunes? Blind people on the other hand account for 7.5 Million according to the Braille Institute. I have no clue where the AP comes up with the 40 million number, that is off by a huge margin.

Secondly, I also disagree with the statement that "40 Million blind and deaf Americans stand to reap the biggest benefits". Actually, no. First it's nowhere close to 40 million, second the people that will benefit the most are people like my self who will bill out hundreds of hours of time offering services to make sites ADA compliant. I think this is a BAD IDEA, but I will lobby my local congressman to support it because if it passes I will make money. That's the bottom line. If the Feds are going to force shit down our throats I'm going to get my piece of the pie. The parent says it's easy and not a big deal. From what I've read and done in the past, it's a lot of extra work that clients don't want to pay for. That's OK, the government will force their hand and I'll get more work in the long run - the web is too important for businesses to simply say screw it and turn off their sites.

Third, the idea of screens on the back of seats in a theater is simply, fucking stupid. A person texting 5 rows up is distracting with their bright little cell phone screen, how bad is it going to be with screens on the bask of seats? Going to the movies is borderline now with the prices, all the crinkling food wrappers, and rude people talking to the screen. Movies cost too much now. Who's going to pay for all this technology? a theater owner who's making about 5% margin if they're lucky?

Finally, I take issue with the parent's statement :

It's not like the web would lose anything but dead weight...

Who made you the arbiter of good taste. I must have missed the appointment of the Quality Web Content Czar while I was reading a magazine on the crapper.

'Some' personal, noncommercial content? (1)

cobrausn (1915176) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237616)

I would hate to see a bunch of people get fined because their personal website has only plain text and images.

Re:'Some' personal, noncommercial content? (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237674)

Not just personal websites, but personal stuff on commercial websites may also not be affected (and should not either):

FTFA:

But what about personal photos on Facebook? Does Facebook have to make sure the photo content can be read aloud to a blind user?

Perhaps not. The Justice Department is considering making it clear that some personal, noncommercial content would not be affected.

Re:'Some' personal, noncommercial content? (1)

cobrausn (1915176) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237712)

I was just worried about the use of the word 'Some'. It seems to me all personal content should be unaffected.

Re:'Some' personal, noncommercial content? (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237786)

Do note that key word:

The Justice Department is considering making it clear that some personal, noncommercial content would not be affected.

Plus, of course, that other key word "considering".

Neither of those keywords give me a warm fuzzy about this....

It's about time (1)

FullBandwidth (1445095) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237632)

Letting people voluntarily make their web sites accessible certainly hasn't worked - for example, Flash content is the bane of visually impaired users but I don't see much of a movement to provide alternatives. I wonder if this means that popular OSs will have to provide real, working accessibility features and not bad jokes like Microsoft Narrator?

Re:It's about time (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34237728)

Unfortunately I think this kind of thing is necessary.

You can't rely on businesses to go out of their way to provide access to a relatively small group of people because, and I say this with no intended cruelty, they're probably not worth it. You can argue about PR and being "good guys" .. but at the end of the day, money is what makes the decision.

Unless you sell a very niche product, chances are the amount of business you do with disabled persons probably won't come close to covering the costs of providing access.

I think you really do need "the man" to come down and dictate that you have to make efforts to accommodate disabled persons.

Lets just hope they don't do so in a way which actually makes things worse (which they will, they always do..).

Re:It's about time (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238082)

I think you really do need "the man" to come down and dictate that you have to make efforts to accommodate disabled persons.

Ok, here's the devil's advocate question: if none of my business is done with disabled folks, why should "the man" force me to produce web content suitable for them? They aren't coming to my website anyway. They don't care.

Someone said that flash is the bane of the disabled. Well, it's the bane for me, too, because I don't run an OS with a flash player. (One of my systems is so old that Netscape 4.7 is the most current browser, and even on systems with an available flash player I disable it because it's distracting and a waste of CPU cycles for the vast majority of cases.)

Nobody gives a damn that I can't use their website (and when I run into idiot companies who think a flash animation should be the sole content of their entry-level home page, I go elsewhere). Now, I'd benefit from some laws passed that make this kind of nonsense illegal, but I don't think they ought to be.

Some businesses will buck any change... (3, Interesting)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237634)

...but I don't think most businesses (or most people, generally) have anything to object to here. What's likely to make people anxious about changes to the ADA is uncertainty over what those changes will involve.

As a web developer, my main concern is just knowing what I'll have to do or do differently. It would be helpful if articles like this -- or their summaries -- provided links to the proposed guidelines. Personally, I'd prefer to get a head start on this so that my clients and I don't end up rushing to implement changes as the last moment.

Re:Some businesses will buck any change... (2, Insightful)

homer_s (799572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237828)

"What's likely to make people anxious about changes to the ADA is uncertainty over what those changes will involve."

Not to mention the possibility of large fines when my (commercial) websites aren't compliant with some obscure requirement in the new guidelines. And the cost involved in me dropping the 10 other things I'm doing to read the guidelines, check all my websites, make sure they're compliant or if they're not, spend time and money to fix them.

So, no, my anxiety is not just about "uncertainty over what those changes will involve".
(And people wonder why small businesses are not hiring!!)

Re:Some businesses will buck any change... (3, Informative)

literaldeluxe (1527087) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237854)

...but I don't think most businesses (or most people, generally) have anything to object to here. What's likely to make people anxious about changes to the ADA is uncertainty over what those changes will involve.

As a web developer, my main concern is just knowing what I'll have to do or do differently. It would be helpful if articles like this -- or their summaries -- provided links to the proposed guidelines. Personally, I'd prefer to get a head start on this so that my clients and I don't end up rushing to implement changes as the last moment.

Here you go: http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/ [w3.org] WCAG 2.0 is what the upcoming revision to Section 508 is being based on.

Re:Some businesses will buck any change... (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238034)

SO now I have to host my Pink Ponies site in RUSSIA? Fan-fucking-tastic.

you know.. im all for.... (2, Insightful)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237638)

equality but I am sick of mandated equality. Let the market decide
if store X does not want to cater to group Y (for whatever reason, infrastructure costs to accommodate group Y or simple dislike for group Y It should be the store owners prerogative.

In this day and age, if people are THAT upset about it, they can organize boycotts until store X either changes, or goes under.

here is a perfect example in NY

smoking indoors is banned.... NOW I believe the store should have a right to dictate whether or not they want to allow smoking in their PRIVATELY OWNED establishment

the customer will either complain, and ask that smoking be not allowed and not go back until it is, or if enough people are bothered, he will see it on his balance sheet and ban smoking himself.

the government getting involved is always the answer to a question NO one asked.

Re:you know.. im all for.... (3, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237744)

The market will always decide for whatever's cheaper, and will bias itself to cheaper now even if that costs it money over the long run. Unless the question is "How do I maximize to reduce costs to the lowest level" where cost is a single variable of money, using a market based solution is NEVER the right answer.

Equality is something that is not broken down into mere money. So a market based solution will never address it. That's why we have government- to protect those who don't have the power to do so themselves (in this case, the handicapped). That's what's called "civilization". And yes, it takes a government to enforce it.

I do hope that they do this the right way though. Businesses under a certain size should be exempted, perhaps on a sliding scale due to the costs of implementing this. Also, mere presence of an ad or two should not make it commercial, unless those ads bring in sufficient revenue. Large organizations like Amazon, Google, WalMart, Target, etc should absolutely be required to be accessible. Small sites like my local pizza joint likely can't afford it.

Re:you know.. im all for.... (2, Insightful)

Anrego (830717) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237824)

That's why we have government- to protect those who don't have the power to do so themselves (in this case, the handicapped).

This is so depressingly true.

Simply put.. it's not worth it financially to make your site accessible unless you are very large or sell certain niche products. For the vast majority of sites, the costs of making a site accessible (especially if you are required to rigidly follow some standard that you _know_ is gonna really suck and probably be counter to the purpose) are going to far outweigh any profits you reap from the handful of new visitors you bring in.

It doesn't help that most technologies designed to assist the disabled only work if your site is ultra simple and has all kinds of added "helpers".

Unfortunately you really do need a government to come in and say "ok, we know you're gonna take it in the shorts financially.. but you live in a civilized society and you have to suck it up and do what's right".

Re:you know.. im all for.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34237986)

That's why we have government- to protect those who don't have the power to do so themselves (in this case, the handicapped).

This is so depressingly true.

Simply put.. it's not worth it financially to make your site accessible unless you are very large or sell certain niche products. For the vast majority of sites, the costs of making a site accessible (especially if you are required to rigidly follow some standard that you _know_ is gonna really suck and probably be counter to the purpose) are going to far outweigh any profits you reap from the handful of new visitors you bring in.

It doesn't help that most technologies designed to assist the disabled only work if your site is ultra simple and has all kinds of added "helpers".

Unfortunately you really do need a government to come in and say "ok, we know you're gonna take it in the shorts financially.. but you live in a civilized society and you have to suck it up and do what's right".

That is not what's going to happen at all. In the long run you will make owning and operating a small business so onerous that few will decide to do it. Only the largest corporations can afford to comply with laws like this. They will then use their leverage to ship your job to China, India, or Bangladesh. You will have your "civilized society," but no money or future.

Re:you know.. im all for.... (1)

hxnwix (652290) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238108)

Unfortunately you really do need a government to come in and say "ok, we know you're gonna take it in the shorts financially.. but you live in a civilized society and you have to suck it up and do what's right".

That is not what's going to happen at all. In the long run you will make owning and operating a small business so onerous that few will decide to do it. Only the largest corporations can afford to comply with laws like this. They will then use their leverage to ship your job to China, India, or Bangladesh. You will have your "civilized society," but no money or future.

There are already many accessibility laws that affect small businesses. The most expensive must be building codes, and these have been around for years. Do you think it costs more to add some text-to-speech helper tags to a website than to build a ramp next to a stairway or to add a wheelchair accessible stall to the bathroom? Please.

Furthermore, many small businesses provide local services that are not possible to offshore. Requiring wheelchair ramps and website tags will not cause the local muffler shop to move to Bangladesh.

Re:you know.. im all for.... (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237944)

The market will always decide for whatever's cheaper, and will bias itself to cheaper now even if that costs it money over the long run.

No, it will bias towards what's more profitable. If they were biased toward cheaper, Ferrari would be making 900cc tricycles, not V12 supercars.

And, in this case, few companies lose enough money to people who can't access their web sites to cover the cost of the time taken to support them.

Re:you know.. im all for.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34238070)

That's a terribly analogy.

Ferrari's whole premise of existence is that they aren't part of the normal market; their customers want to consider themselves elite.

A more useful car analogy would be actual mass-market companies like Hyundai, who... oh wait, yes, do bias towards cheaper. Funny that.

Re:you know.. im all for.... (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238000)

Large organizations like Amazon, Google, WalMart, Target, etc should absolutely be required to be accessible. Small sites like my local pizza joint likely can't afford it.

Those small businesses most certainly can afford it. Your local pizza joint already has to comply with ADA laws at their physical presence (wheelchair accessible restrooms, etc.). Compared with the time and cost of complying with ADA at a physical location, altering the website of a local joint for ADA compliance is rather trivial.

Re:you know.. im all for.... (4, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238106)

ADA is itself a messed up system that doesn't make anything any better for most people, only adds to the cost of doing business often to the point of driving people out of business.

Locally there is a lawyer and a "disabled" person who do nothing but sue anyone for anything that is not ADA compliant. Wheel chair ramp off by 1% ?? Rail bar off by 1", door not exactly right ... anything.

All the guy does is drive around town suing people. It doesn't help the "disabled" it only helps the one guy, the and his own pocketbook. Meanwhile the cost he's adding to the businesses has put several out of business. Nice huh?

And not one disabled person complained, not one had problems getting service because THAT is not the issue, the issue is "legal compliance" and getting whatever fixed doesn't stop the lawsuit, because it isn't a "fixit" type thing. So they sue, and get their pound of flesh. It is a racket.

Guess what, being disabled sucks. We should try to help people as best we can, but when asshats like the one lawyer and the "disabled" guy he sues for come knocking on your door, don't come complaining to me.

Re:you know.. im all for.... (-1, Flamebait)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237772)

Oh look, a randroid troll; possibly a teabagger.

In case you hadn't noticed, one of the reasons for the Bill of Rights is to keep the tyranny of the majority from making life impossible for others. It's also funny how the far-right jumps up and down about Christianity while the philosophy they spew goes against every single tenet of such teaching. You are your brother's keeper, Chuckles. Why do you hate civilization and the Baby Jesus so much?

You can take your kook-ade-drinkin'/randroid/unreformed-southern-democrat BS, print it out on oaktag, fold it up until it is all sharp corners, and stick it where only your doctor screening for cancer will find it.

--
BMO

Re:you know.. im all for.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34237890)

You know, he might just be a pot-smoking libertarian. Might even be agnostic or something.

Re:you know.. im all for.... (1)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237970)

wow.. anon got me right and BMO was way off, gotta love stereotypes though

Re:you know.. im all for.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34237904)

You know what? People WERE that upset about the smoking. That is why they DID organize themselves. And because it would be damn idiotic to go after one store after the other individually, they got the government to do something about it for every store/office building etc. That is a "question someone asked" the government. Your post just shows an anti-governmental attitude.

Re:you know.. im all for.... (1)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237990)

well yes, i am anti big government and i am pro the people. If I have a bar, i should be able to cater to smokers. Do you smoke? if you did you would know how much it sucks going to a bar in january and having to go outside to spark up. I understand not all people want to be around smokers, but it should be the establishment who decides. IF bars could still offer smokers an option, i would wager that the bars that DO offer it would increase their revenues fairly quickly because people like me would go there and not to the place we cant smoke.

the simple point is that a blanket ban on XX is never the answer as each case is different.

Re:you know.. im all for.... (2, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238100)

IF bars could still offer smokers an option, i would wager that the bars that DO offer it would increase their revenues fairly quickly because people like me would go there and not to the place we cant smoke.

One of the reasons why British pubs are closing at record rates is because most people who used to go to pubs smoked, and all those non-smoking drinkers who were supposedly so eager to go to non-smoking pubs failed to suddenly materialise after smoking was banned.

Re:you know.. im all for.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34238122)

No they weren't assbag. YOU were. Since you don't like it, it's OK to stop others from smoking (and no, I am not a smoker). You're a dick smoker. Since I am not into that, should we stop you from enjoying that cheesy, shmegma goodness?

Re:you know.. im all for.... (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237932)

But if we don't force these things on private businesses, they could theoretically band together and refuse to sell anything to the oppressed group, so that they literally starve to death, can't buy any clothing or anything. Since this is possible, clearly we must make laws to ensure that this won't happen.

Re:you know.. im all for.... (1)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238002)

actually that couldnt happen, there are laws in place that are against collusion .

even if that were true, someone in the "oppressed" group would be able to open their own store XX, and they would have ALL the business from the "oppressed" group, one man gets to move up in life, and the group can continue buying their products.

Re:you know.. im all for.... (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238110)

But if we don't force these things on private businesses, they could theoretically band together and refuse to sell anything to the oppressed group, so that they literally starve to death, can't buy any clothing or anything. Since this is possible,...

I know this is slashdot and all, but have we truly forgotten how to shop for things without them being presented on a web page? I mean, my local grocery store doesn't HAVE a web page, and they certainly aren't going to "band together" with anyone to keep people in wheelchairs out.

Get a grip, man. Nobody is going to starve to death because they can't access the web.

Re:you know.. im all for.... (1)

izomiac (815208) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238144)

The free market solution to the handicapped is to euthanize them since the vast majority consume more resources than they generate. The free market also resembles evolution in that it doesn't plan ahead, so public health concerns become a simple race to the bottom. Personally, I love the free market, but I acknowledge that it's not magic. Despite having less sympathy than most, I do prefer a little humanity in economics, and favor exploiting the market rather than being exploited by it.

While I feel we meddle too much with the market already (and wish businesses acted more like businesses rather than entitled children -- see most piracy complainers), I see little fault in this move. Web designers have long neglected the disabled while the internet has quickly become vital to modern life. Many here would welcome eye-candy taking a backseat to usability and accessibility.

It's about time (4, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237648)

There are too many flashy (pun intended) websites without any secondary way of seeing them. A proper public website should be navigable with a screen reader. As "Web 2.0" has marched on, it has only gotten worse. Some are even so user hostile that even those wanting a bit of privacy without Flash or javascript enabled are simply locked out.

Exceptions should be made for personal pages, but for organizations, governments, and commerce sites that deal with the public, there shouldn't be any excuse.

--
BMO

Re:It's about time (4, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237900)

Exceptions should be made for personal pages, but for organizations, governments, and commerce sites that deal with the public, there shouldn't be any excuse.

Well I kind of see the point of those who say the government shouldn't force private businesses to run their business a certain way. But I also see that that is the same argument of the manager who refused to serve black customers at the Woolworth's lunch counter.

It boils down to the age-old questions: the conservative asks "what kind of government can we tolerate?" and the liberal asks "what kind of society do we want to be?"

So I think you're going too far to say "there shouldn't be any excuse --" private property rights and general freedom from government interference are strong and valid arguments. On the other hand I don't want to turn back the clock to 1963, either. Life is better with civil rights legislation. It's easier to be proud to be an American. So I'm inclined to take your side and say to Web site operators, "suck it up, follow the law."

I also think the government should be the first to implement its own usability requirements... stating with the Web site of the court that handed down this decision.

Re:It's about time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34237958)

Well for me, the matter isn't so much the website, but the software that can render a website (this includes flash, and video container types for subtitle transcripts). Right now, the software sucks. It doesn't matter if we're talking about some proprietary toolset or any of the open source initiatives, they simply suck. So, it doesn't matter how compliant a website is if the software to render the website can't do so for people with various disabilities. Making it the responsibility of web developers at this point in time is very stupid, imo.

Re:It's about time (1)

twotailakitsune (1229480) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237968)

Yea. Till this year the US government has not been keeping their sites in line. Now a lot of things are happening with the government. Here is a link with links of things this year mostly: http://triton.towson.edu/~jlazar/abouthci.html [towson.edu]

Re:It's about time (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238014)

I'd settle for getting rid of websites that insist you use internet explorer version 6 or above. I mean, sure we all know how much better IE6 or above is than any other browser out there, and how if you use anything other than internet explorer, you're asking for identity theft...

Good. (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237652)

The article talks about this extending into other realms like movies.

"About 1 percent of U.S. theater screens already have that type of equipment. But expanding the technology to others could cost nearly $160 million."

Thats the cost of one medium quality action film these days. Hollywood studios should be forced to pay for it.

Re:Good. (1)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238154)

Capital to invest and capital to throw into the trash for regulatory compliance are not the same thing.

'Bout time? (4, Interesting)

jc42 (318812) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237656)

I've worked on a number of projects where we were explicitly ordered not to "waste our time" with anything that would help the disabled to use our web sites. There wasn't much we could do other than sneak in things that we thought the management wouldn't notice.

Maybe it's time that people with more clout than us mere developers let the managers know that something a bit more, uh, civilised is expected of them.

We can't do it on our own, even if we want to.

(Actually, I'm currently doing some pro bono work for some nonprofits that involves making their web sites more accessible. A curious part of this is that they've mostly been persuaded by the growing number of people carrying a "smart phone", and it's getting through their heads that web pages forced to width=1200 or requiring javascript are limiting their audience. While we're at it, maybe we can sneak in even more stuff that helps the visually impaired, etc.)

Re:'Bout time? (4, Interesting)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237802)

A curious part of this is that they've mostly been persuaded by the growing number of people carrying a "smart phone", and it's getting through their heads that web pages forced to width=1200 or requiring javascript are limiting their audience

Amen, brother! I keep scratching my head over why certain Web sites are willing to shell out the cash to make a whole parallel "mobile" version, when what they really need is just a couple of different style sheets and some good engineering. That whole idea of separating content from layout, that seemed so quaint and idealistic back in 1995, actually makes sense in today's marketplace.

OK (1, Insightful)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237694)

How is this not a first amendment violation? If person X, or lets say even company Y doesn't want to make their articles/website/cartoons/jokes available in specific format, what right does the government have to come in and do anything about it?

And why is this any sort of priority for the justice department? I have news for the feds, your airplane terrorist watchdogs are molesting children right now, find something more important to work on. Mkay?

Re:OK (2, Informative)

TheReaperD (937405) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237814)

First off, you mixed apples and oranges. If person X wants to make a website that has a limited audience and exclude blind people, smart phones, etc. they may do so to a point. It sounds like this proposal takes that into account. However, if company Y wants to do the same thing, they can't. Companies do not get all the same rights as people. (And, in my opinion, this is a very good thing.) They have to abide by additional non-discrimination laws that include that they are not allowed to discriminate against the blind. For a long time, it has never been defined what that means on the web. This is just simply to establish one set of guidelines as to what that means rather than leaving it to a mis-mash of different court cases and give a time frame for companies to meet these guidelines.

Re:OK (3, Insightful)

st0rmshad0w (412661) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237920)

My employer is publicly traded. I'm unaware of any rule/law/etc that requires us to produce braille product literature.

Explain to me HOW a website with the same information is ANY different.

Re:OK (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237960)

It's not - there doesn't exist any rule/law/etc that requires websites to produce blind accessible information.

Re:OK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34238022)

That all sounds well and good until you consider small businesses. Small business may not have the funds necessary to reach out and communicate with the disabled. Small businesses that trade in building websites for hire may not have the funds to spend on accessibility -- even if they have the expertise. When legally mandating accesibility you're imposing a burden on these businesses akin to requiring that they perform the customer-facing side of their business in the language of the customer's choice. That's immensely impractical for many small businesses. Especially those that tend to serve a limited geography (in the case of spoken/written languages). It imposes an outrageous burden on them which would not be levied on many of their foreign competitors. Worse, the very technologies that rob the web of its accessibility are those that are considered de rigeur for "professional" sites. Much like proper grammar is perceived as more professional it's driven by a very non-technological social system. So any small business wanting to be taken seriously needs to use these technologies -- the very ones that put up barriers to accessibility -- in order to be perceived as a competitor.

In theory forcing all websites to be universally accessible would be a wonderful thing. As a matter of practice there are much more serious issues with that idea than its simplicity suggests. Internationalization of products can be quite costly. Accessibility is likely just as costly if not more so.

What's really needed is not a law mandating accessibility outright but some social/monetary structure which supports and/or rewards accessible websites. It could be as 'simple' as small government subsidies or tax credits for company websites that adopt and continue to use accessibile technologies. Then business will gravitate towards technologies that don't require constant human-driven translation for each bit of new/recycled content.

There are far better reasons why corporations don't always have the same rights as real people. Using that distinction alone to make blanket assumptions about who can afford to implement the progressive legally-mandated policy du jour is a terrible mistake.

Re:OK (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238038)

I'm not certain whether product information qualifies as protected speech.

THEY AREN"T CALLED HANDICAPPED FOR NOTHING !! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34237740)

If you are a gimp, lameo, or the walking dead, you are what you are. Live with it !! Or do what you and Crhis Reeve should have done when you came to the realization that your LIFE SICKS !! Or fuck, stay at home like the rest of the slashdot bottom-dwellers !!

Re:THEY AREN"T CALLED HANDICAPPED FOR NOTHING !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34237812)

You will probably get flamed for this and you didn't phrase it PC but you are correct, heck I can see out of only one eye (ok technically both but one is legally blind) and if I lose that one eye, I could no longer drive etc, guess what that sucks but that is life, and no you can't do anything, paralyzed people can't walk, the blind can't read, the deaf can't hear, and humans can't fly under their own power, sorry life isn't perfect and mandating these things is just punishing everyone including the disabled (just check out horror stories of the ADA).

Also interesting video (on Hulu Fox Business network (NOT FOX NEWS)
http://www.hulu.com/watch/185288/stossel-thu-sep-2-2010#s-p2-so-i0
enjoy! :-)

LOL Captcha is revoke :-)

Re:THEY AREN"T CALLED HANDICAPPED FOR NOTHING !! (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238004)

Nobody is claiming for a perfect life for disabled people, just that companies pay their web developers a little more and stop using proprietary shitty formats. This move is good for both disabled and non-disabled people.

Also, I can't watch your video, I'm not in the US, you insensitive clod!

very small businesses? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34237746)

I have a web shop, I just use an open source ecommerce solution (prestashop, tried zencart too, didn't like it as much). I have no idea what accessibility requirements they are talking about. I have no way of following them. The article says websites must be programmed to read themselves aloud, I'm assuming that's a stupid journalist. I don't think that's a standard HTML feature. In any event, give me simple guidelines to follow and a deadline and I'll do it, but otherwise we are just going to see every small business sued for their website not being compliant to standards that aren't even set. As it is there are more than enough frivolous lawsuits justified by the ADA against mom and pop brick and mortar businesses.

Flash-only sites (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237754)

something like that could force sites to finally make an alternative, html only version, at least for the sites where that have some meaning.

Maybe fund some hungry developers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34237762)

Why not have the government fund some developers to work with w3c et.al. to make it dead easy for devs to integrate this stuff well into their sites? Seems a better solution to me than forcing it on corporations and bigger public sites.

NOT A HELLUVALOT.... (0, Flamebait)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237810)

"Website operators should be asking themselves what they could be losing in market share because they are "unwittingly putting up barriers," Brewer said."

NOT A HELLUVALOT....

I am sorry, it's not our fault that you are blind or deaf. We do the best to accomodate. But it's starting to get ridiculous. I am finding myself growing more and more anti-handicap.

OMG....am I evil?

Maybe I should be. But when a start-up business can't get off the ground because they need to build a giant handicap bathroom that will take a huge chunk out of their available space. When the blind associations trash the Kindle as a textbook because the menus aren't translated. (Never mind the fact that the Kindle will read the contents of the textbook, something a paperbook cannot do.)

The cost for most businesses to make their sites ADA compliant will never be recouped.For thousands of years blind people have been unable to read books. And deaf people unable to listen to music.

We've done a lot as a society to aid those who are handicap. But it gets to a point when you keep demanding more, that we're eventually going to toss you into the road.

--

Most business' have a phone number. Seems to me that this should be adequate on many levels. If you're blind, maybe you should talk to a sales staff at Target.com rather than try to browse.

I have a number of websites. Most a small websites with very limited use. To demand that I make them ALL ADA compliant is ludicrous.

I mean, do I want the darkness of my movie broken up by a deaf person sitting in front of me with a screen display sub-titles. Heck no....I hate it when someone whips out a cell phone, which in such darkness is nearly blinding.

---

"If you were to take these things away from the general population - things like watching a movie, surfing the internet, making a 911 call - there would be an outcry," Bristo said. "All we are asking for is what other people take for granted."

But we're not. And you're not the general populace. And to expect to be able to everything that the general populace can do is just silly. And to demand the general populace enable you to do so, is wrong.

I am all for reasonably assisting the disabled. But there is a point at which I will cease to care. Is it that I am just mean or cruel, or unsympathetic? No...

I am just one who thinks people need to accept their limitations. And not expect everyone around them to bend over backwards to them. Ask for help. And I'll help. Demand it from me, and I'll ignore you.

Re: NOT A HELLUVALOT.... (-1, Troll)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237856)

I am sorry, it's not our fault that you are blind or deaf.

Karma would be Gawd striking you temporarily blind, but since He doesn't exist (or has abandoned us for 2000 years) it's up to us to piss you off and make you accept everyone on even terms when dealing in commerce.

You don't have to like it, but getting along with civilization is generally a good thing, especially when you don't have to worry about boycotts.

Have a nice day.

--
BMO

Re: NOT A HELLUVALOT.... (2, Funny)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238064)

You don't have to like it, but getting along with civilization is generally a good thing, especially when you don't have to worry about boycotts.

So people who are unable to use his site are going to punish him by refusing to buy from him?

Sounds like a plan.

Re: NOT A HELLUVALOT.... (1)

monkyyy (1901940) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238080)

only +1 flame bait..... -__-

Re: NOT A HELLUVALOT.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34237868)

Amen Brother.

All I can envision at this point is creating a separate website holding parts of each page so the text can be enlarged to 120 pixels. Yikes!

Re: NOT A HELLUVALOT.... (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238054)

Ask for help. And I'll help. Demand it from me, and I'll ignore you.

...and you'll be fined. No problems there.

Re: NOT A HELLUVALOT.... (2, Insightful)

PRMan (959735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238146)

I have food allergies. I expect an honest answer if I ask you a question about ingredients. If you don't know, tell me you don't know and I will go somewhere else.

I do NOT expect everybody on earth to remove all traces of soy from everything so that I don't get sick. That's ridiculous.

You want to know what's also ridiculous? I have seen parking spaces at busy malls that go unused for YEARS because they are handicapped spaces. Why are there so many spaces when there are so few handicapped people? I appreciate the spaces for people like my friend who was handicapped for many years, but even he agreed that the sheer number of spaces was way too high.

I like America's sense of caring for certain unfortunate groups, but the balance is too far the other way these days.

Let the Market Decide (1, Insightful)

ewhenn (647989) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237836)

I'm all for making sure handicapped people have access to necessary services... however *requiring* movie theaters to provide closed captioning devices at every seat is ridiculous. Watching a movie is is not a life necessity. If the demand is there, and the people that need it are willing to pay a price that makes business sense, then the theaters will have Closed captioning equipment. If it doesn't make business sense, then they won't.

What the fuck is with the government wanting to tell *PRIVATE* business who they have to make non-mandatory (ie. entertainment) products available to?

ADA is mostly bullshit anyways. Hey, let's also make sure we have a wheel chair ramp for bungee jumping, because you never know when some cripple with deteriorating bones might want to plunge down a hundred feet with only their legs attached to a giant rubber band. Why not require the same Closed captioning devices for normal theater (plays) as well? How about all sporting events too? Gotta have CC devices at the seats so you can hear the refs calls. Maybe we need to throw some braille street signs in there too, wouldn't want the blind to be discriminated against when driving a car, you know?

The bottom line is, if there is money to be made, some company *will* do it voluntarily. If the market can't support it, oh well, tough break, it doesn't happen.

Re:Let the Market Decide (4, Interesting)

rudedog (7339) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238124)

If you knew anything about how the technology works, you would know that closed captioning at theaters is a matter of installing a LED projector at the back of the theater and providing the viewers with a plexiglass reflector that they stick into their cup holder. It is not a question of retrofitting every seat. The tech is dirt cheap.

And even as cheap as it is, in the greater metro Seattle area, there are only 4 theaters that have it. And not 4 theater complexes. Literally 4 theaters. For example, the 11-screen complex in Pacific Place has a single theater equipped with it. And most the time, the complex choses not to present movies with captions in that particular theater, and pretty much never does so on weekends. If the theaters equipped more movies with the captioning devices, I would go to the movies more often. But the fact is that the market power of deaf and hard of hearing people isn't big enough to warrant it.

Mandating companies to take reasonable measures to accommodate the needs of disabled patrons when the market can't is part of belonging to a civilized society.

Re:Let the Market Decide (1)

monkyyy (1901940) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238132)

i agree
ada get the more important issue of state LAWS getting in the way of the blind driving

JAWS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34237846)

The problem it the programes the read websites AKA JAWS plane out suck. The amount of extra code needed is a pain. Get Jaws to work and we are fine

Re:JAWS (1)

literaldeluxe (1527087) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237902)

The problem it the programes the read websites AKA JAWS plane out suck. The amount of extra code needed is a pain. Get Jaws to work and we are fine

Very little extra code is needed, unless you're referring to ARIA, which is necessary because rich content is extremely nonstandard. As a result, there's no way for assistive technologies to know what does what without a bit of extra code to make it clear.

Re:JAWS (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238098)

We should be moving towards a more semantic web anyway...

Tell you what, end the scans (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237872)

Tell you what.

You end the pervy scans by child molesters and pervs hired by the TSA to "scan" "nude" images of little kids at airports and "pat them down" ....

And I'll let you tell me what my Free Speech rights to create any web site I want are.

Capiche?

Re:Tell you what, end the scans (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238114)

Free Speech gives you the right to say what you want, but it does not give you the right to get a license to operate a business.

Ada (1)

pieisgood (841871) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237884)

I'm stupid, for a just a millisecond I thought they were going to talk about the programming language and how they adapted it for mission critical SERVERS!

Did ADA trolls run out of brick and mortar targets (2, Interesting)

grapeape (137008) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237894)

Im all for equal access and equal opportunity but something really needs to be done about the damn ADA Trolls and the lawyers that feed their "pursuit" of money in the name of equality. I have known of 3 small businesses here in my area that have been basically attacked over non compliance even though there really isn't any real guidance provided in how to comply. Two of the businesses just decided to shut down rather than deal with the legal fees, the other is still fighting after 3 years over non-compliance issues he wasn't even aware of until being sued. I don't think many intentionally want to be seen as discriminatory and most would go out of their way to accommodate as they could afford to but the way the ADA is presented now does nothing but create hostility along with compliance, if half the time and effort put into litigation and enforcement was put into education and assistance for smaller businesses to get compliant it would go along way to giving both sides of the issue what they need without the animosity.

Good SEO (1)

denshao2 (1515775) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237908)

If a screen reader can't read it, a search engine also can't.

Video Games are next (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34237930)

Just watch Video games are next. mandatory auto aim. no shadows, and god mod

Government Goes Too Far (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34237938)

There are already way too many regulations on business as it is. What is truly absurd about this is that this would technically apply to CGI and other strictly VISUAL websites. In other words, this is just as idiotic as mandating braille on drive through ATM's. A blind person would never use a drive through window, and a blind person would need to visit a website dedicated to graphics. Yet these things still need to be made accessible to them thanks to a federal government run amok and an "accessible to all" mentality pushed to the very limits of absurdity. Stop wasting money. If a website doesn't see a market in selling their product or service to the blind, then they shouldn't have to make their content accessible.

There IS a scapegoat (1)

HuckleCom (690630) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238030)

The larger side of the ADA/508 compliance revolves around the blind, the scapegoat is called a TTY Relay service.

Sounds like it'll make some jobs (1)

zullnero (833754) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238142)

You can't outsource a lot of those jobs brushing up sites to support the disabled. However, you could license third party controls that are developed overseas (but you still have to hire people to drop those controls in, and that's often plenty of work in and of itself). Anyway, if you have to update websites to support disabled users, that's a whole lot of work for a whole lot of people. Heck, even if you don't develop websites, there will be work supporting the new hardware needed to support voice and sensory feedback-based content.

If you're a geek, look at it this way...it's like the y2k boom all over again, though it will actually help people long term and bring more people onto the web instead of serve virtually no purpose. And if you're not a geek, and you run some business and you're panicking about making your website accessible for the disabled, then screw you for dumping on disabled people.
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