• Why much of the internet is closed off to blind people

    From a425couple@21:1/5 to All on Wed Oct 2 08:29:20 2019
    XPost: soc.subculture.bondage-bdsm.femdom, alt.sex.asphix

    from
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-49694453

    Why much of the internet is closed off to blind people
    28 September 2019
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    Image copyrightJAMES JEFFREY
    Image caption
    Maysie Gonzales using the internet on her laptop
    As our everyday world moves increasingly online, the digital landscape
    presents new challenges for ensuring accessibility for the blind. A
    recent court challenge against Domino's pizza may be a watershed case
    guiding the rights of disabled people on the internet, writes James Jeffrey.

    Each swipe 17-year-old Maysie Gonzales makes on her smart phone is
    accompanied by what sounds like the famous Stephen Hawking voice barking
    out orders at a relentless pace.

    "Sometimes I speed it up to 350 words a minute, it depends what mood I
    am in," says Ms Gonzales, who lost her sight when she was two years old
    through retinal cancer.

    Screen readers translate on-screen information into speech or Braille.
    They have broken open the internet for people who are blind or visually impaired, and for those with other disabilities.

    But the device only works effectively on websites that are compatible.

    "Sometimes it can be horrible, it depends on how the website has been
    set up," says Ms Gonzales.

    If a website's digital infrastructure hasn't been correctly labelled, a
    blind person can be met with a barrage of "button! - button! - button!"
    or "link 1,752! - link 1,752! - link 1,752!" from that hyperactive mechanical-sounding voice.

    ADVERTISEMENT

    inRead invented by Teads
    Image copyrightJAMES JEFFREY
    Image caption
    The pink markers on Maysie Gonzales’ laptop offer a tactile reference
    point from which she can better orientate herself
    Hence the case Guillermo Robles, who is blind, brought against Domino's
    Pizza after he was unable to use his screen reader to use the company's
    website and mobile app.

    A federal court agreed with him, and now Domino's has petitioned the
    Supreme Court to hear Robles' case, in what could prove a landmark
    battle over the rights of disabled people on the internet.

    Domino's Pizza defeated in court over app
    'I want autistic people to be seen as equal'
    Tokyo Paralympics 2020: Will Tokyo be accessible enough?
    "This isn't just about ordering the likes of pizza or surfing Amazon,"
    says Chris Danielson, a representative with the National Federation of
    the Blind (NFB). "People are doing everything online nowadays, so it's
    about blind people being able to access the likes of online banking,
    applying for employment and doing the necessary online tests, accessing cloud-based tools in the workplace, and all the rest."

    It's estimated that 7,600,000 Americans are technically blind - about
    2.4% of the population - according to the NFB.

    Image copyrightJOE AMON/GETTY IMAGES
    "We've even been told by businesses before that they understand, but the
    fact is blind people are not a very big market," Mr Danielson says.
    "That's what we are dealing with."

    Nowadays signs designating access for shoppers with disabilities - from
    parking spaces to restrooms to dressing rooms - are a ubiquitous part of
    the retail landscape.

    This is thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the
    29-year-old federal law that prohibits discrimination based on disability.

    But ADA requirements that are relatively clear when applied to physical
    stores - such as determining where ramps should go and what height grab
    bars should be - become much more difficult to discern with a website.

    "The online environment was never intended to be covered by the ADA,"
    says Stephanie Martz, senior vice-president and general counsel for the National Retail Federation (NRF), which along with other business groups
    like the Chamber of Commerce and the Restaurant Law Center has come out supporting Domino's.

    Image copyrightSOLSTOCK/GETTY IMAGES
    "The ADA took effect before the internet as we know it today existed,
    and more than 25 years later there is no clear objective guidance on
    what constitutes an 'accessible' website. There's not enough clarity in
    the law to know what is accountable."

    But advocates like Mr Danielson counter that if one follows that logic
    then the whole US Constitution could be undermined. "If a 30-year-old
    law is deemed out of date and not applicable then that applies to a
    whole lot of laws."

    Inventing sign language for deaf scientists
    Doctors tackle CMV deafness virus in children
    The tech giving people power to deal with disability
    As e-commerce has grown, retailers are increasingly faced with ADA
    lawsuits over lack of accessibility, particularly for the blind or
    visually impaired.

    Website accessibility lawsuits hit a record high in 2018, with retail
    being the most frequently targeted industry. More lawsuits were filed in
    court in the first six months of 2018 (1,053) than in all of 2017 (814), according to the NRF.

    The likes of Visa and Target have lost such lawsuits, and earlier this
    year a class-action was filed against Beyoncé's official website,
    alleging that Beyonce.com violates the ADA by denying visually impaired
    users equal access to its products and services.

    "To be fair to businesses," Mr Danielson says, "there are lawyers taking advantage of the situation, but cutting the legs from under the ADA is
    an overcorrection… and stops the flow of legitimate plaintiffs."

    Ultimately, those pushing for digital accessibility argue that
    businesses have no excuse for dragging their feet over it.

    "It's not hard to do, it should just be part of best practice, not an additional line item, just like making sure a website loads quickly is,"
    says Laura Kalbag, a website designer and author of Accessibility for
    Everyone.

    "It basically just involves HTML coding, which even a blogger can do. If
    it is a huge website, it might take some time, but the work itself is
    not complicated."

    Image copyrightJAMES JEFFREY
    Image caption
    A statue of a man and his guide dog interacting with a little girl
    outside the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
    She adds it is a myth that making a website accessible makes it ugly,
    there is no correlation - you can still have snazzy images and graphics.

    Ms Gonzales says that because she is also gluten intolerant, she likes
    to use Domino's as it offers gluten-free pizzas, and she has managed to
    use its online site. But selecting toppings is tricky - and sometimes
    she has had to get her mother to step in.

    That the courts are also stepping in is part of the problem, Ms Martz
    explains. "This should be dealt with by government and Congress amending
    the ADA."

    Any discussion of accessibility should look at the whole picture - a
    blind person can always ring Domino's toll-free number and order that
    way, she adds.

    "As a teacher who has to speak all day, sometimes, like everyone else, I
    don't want to get into another conversation and just want to do it
    online," Jeff Molzow, a blind instructor at the Criss Cole
    Rehabilitation Center which trains blind people to compete in the work
    force, says about why that toll-free number doesn't always appeal.

    "Also, I want time to peruse the menu and make up my mind - you can't do
    that if you are speaking to someone on the phone."

    The Domino's case is symptomatic, say many working with the blind, of
    the wider problem of how blind people, or anyone with a disability, are
    still not fully on society's radar.

    Image copyrightJAMES JEFFREY
    Image caption
    Jeff Molzow at the Criss Cole Rehabilitation Center
    "All the info is out there about digital accessibility. Tim Berners-Lee,
    the inventor of the internet, was discussing it in the mid-90s, and we
    have pushed it for years," says Jim Allan, an accessibility coordinator
    at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

    "But people still have low expectations of what blind people can do and
    don't use their imaginations about the possibilities - until they are
    hit with the fire hose of info from the likes of us, after which they
    get it."

    The awareness of businesses and companies is improving but still slowly,
    says Mr Allan, noting that only federal and state websites are mandated
    to be fully accessible by all users. This despite digital accessibility
    being required by a much larger segment of society, especially as people
    age and start to lose sight and hearing.

    How do blind people enjoy the Mona Lisa?
    NHS to offer gene therapy for rare eye disease
    "We treat disabled people as if they are different but that isn't the
    case, as digital accessibility affects all of us," says Ms Kalbag. "If
    nothing else, you should see it in a selfish way, as one day you will
    probably need this type of accessibility."

    It is the same in the physical realm, where the likes of wheelchair
    access ramps are gladly embraced by mothers with prams and cyclists.

    But even when digital accessibility is achieved, challenges remain for
    blind people that are familiar to all.

    "Sometimes I worry about using social media too much, like everyone
    else," Ms Gonzalez says.

    "But without my phone I would be very lost - I wouldn't be able to do
    much and would be very dependent on others, when I prefer to do it on my
    own."

    Related Topics
    United StatesDisabilityBlindness and visual-impairment
    Share this story About sharing

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  • From Brian G@21:1/5 to a425couple@hotmail.com on Thu Oct 3 11:21:44 2019
    XPost: soc.subculture.bondage-bdsm.femdom, alt.sex.asphix

    Actually it is not costly to make things accessible as many sites now are.
    What is the problem is two fold. 1. companies regularly redesign their web sites, if at this stage the guidelines published widely are followed then it just works, but sadly many app and web developers never think first. Add to this education of software engineers should include an accessibility module
    but seems not to. Programs and tools used by web developers often treat accessibility as an option not a best practice item.

    In Europe we are far ahead of the US as our laws were drafted later and
    hence can be interpreted in the right ways.
    However I see no reason as has been said why the spirit of the US ADA
    should not be applied to everything. Increasingly this is affecting the
    jobless as well.
    the other issue of course is that even the fully sighted have issues accessing the web these days as those making the sights are so obsessed
    with pretty stuff they forget it needs to be functional and intuitive. There
    is what is known as the click away effect which makes people get frustrated, and go to a better site to buy their goods. This disability access should be seen this way.
    Jaws the leading paid for screenreader has developed a ready made product
    for point of sale devices called Jaws for Kiosks. It may add some costs to
    the unit, but it means that they will write the scripts to make most stuff accessible with their screenreader. We already have accessible ATM
    machines, courtesy of Microsoft. However Link who install them have still
    not cracked a phone app to tell us where they are!

    In the uk the going online issue is making many people second class
    citizens. Have a listen to this short bbc program.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/5s12dievf7qgp5b/digital%20exclusion-lowband.mp3?dl=1

    AS the article says, in the US saying a law is too old is a dangerous
    thing.I seriously think that the lawyers have a vested interest in this, as they make money from such litigation. What is that Weird Al line in Jurassic park? A (insert dinosaur name here) just ate our lawyer, which proves they
    are not all bad.


    B


    --

    -----
    Mildew_spores@blueyonder.co.uk is the alter ego of
    Brian G.
    Anything goes here.
    Ambiguous statement intended.
    "a425couple" <a425couple@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:qn2fog07l4@news3.newsguy.com...
    from
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-49694453

    Why much of the internet is closed off to blind people
    28 September 2019
    Share this with Facebook Share this with Messenger Share this with Twitter Share this with Email Share
    Image copyrightJAMES JEFFREY
    Image caption
    Maysie Gonzales using the internet on her laptop
    As our everyday world moves increasingly online, the digital landscape presents new challenges for ensuring accessibility for the blind. A recent court challenge against Domino's pizza may be a watershed case guiding the rights of disabled people on the internet, writes James Jeffrey.

    Each swipe 17-year-old Maysie Gonzales makes on her smart phone is accompanied by what sounds like the famous Stephen Hawking voice barking
    out orders at a relentless pace.

    "Sometimes I speed it up to 350 words a minute, it depends what mood I am in," says Ms Gonzales, who lost her sight when she was two years old
    through retinal cancer.

    Screen readers translate on-screen information into speech or Braille.
    They have broken open the internet for people who are blind or visually impaired, and for those with other disabilities.

    But the device only works effectively on websites that are compatible.

    "Sometimes it can be horrible, it depends on how the website has been set up," says Ms Gonzales.

    If a website's digital infrastructure hasn't been correctly labelled, a
    blind person can be met with a barrage of "button! - button! - button!" or "link 1,752! - link 1,752! - link 1,752!" from that hyperactive mechanical-sounding voice.

    ADVERTISEMENT

    inRead invented by Teads
    Image copyrightJAMES JEFFREY
    Image caption
    The pink markers on Maysie Gonzales' laptop offer a tactile reference
    point from which she can better orientate herself
    Hence the case Guillermo Robles, who is blind, brought against Domino's
    Pizza after he was unable to use his screen reader to use the company's website and mobile app.

    A federal court agreed with him, and now Domino's has petitioned the
    Supreme Court to hear Robles' case, in what could prove a landmark battle over the rights of disabled people on the internet.

    Domino's Pizza defeated in court over app
    'I want autistic people to be seen as equal'
    Tokyo Paralympics 2020: Will Tokyo be accessible enough?
    "This isn't just about ordering the likes of pizza or surfing Amazon,"
    says Chris Danielson, a representative with the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). "People are doing everything online nowadays, so it's about blind people being able to access the likes of online banking, applying
    for employment and doing the necessary online tests, accessing cloud-based tools in the workplace, and all the rest."

    It's estimated that 7,600,000 Americans are technically blind - about 2.4%
    of the population - according to the NFB.

    Image copyrightJOE AMON/GETTY IMAGES
    "We've even been told by businesses before that they understand, but the
    fact is blind people are not a very big market," Mr Danielson says.
    "That's what we are dealing with."

    Nowadays signs designating access for shoppers with disabilities - from parking spaces to restrooms to dressing rooms - are a ubiquitous part of
    the retail landscape.

    This is thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the
    29-year-old federal law that prohibits discrimination based on disability.

    But ADA requirements that are relatively clear when applied to physical stores - such as determining where ramps should go and what height grab
    bars should be - become much more difficult to discern with a website.

    "The online environment was never intended to be covered by the ADA," says Stephanie Martz, senior vice-president and general counsel for the
    National Retail Federation (NRF), which along with other business groups
    like the Chamber of Commerce and the Restaurant Law Center has come out supporting Domino's.

    Image copyrightSOLSTOCK/GETTY IMAGES
    "The ADA took effect before the internet as we know it today existed, and more than 25 years later there is no clear objective guidance on what constitutes an 'accessible' website. There's not enough clarity in the law
    to know what is accountable."

    But advocates like Mr Danielson counter that if one follows that logic
    then the whole US Constitution could be undermined. "If a 30-year-old law
    is deemed out of date and not applicable then that applies to a whole lot
    of laws."

    Inventing sign language for deaf scientists
    Doctors tackle CMV deafness virus in children
    The tech giving people power to deal with disability
    As e-commerce has grown, retailers are increasingly faced with ADA
    lawsuits over lack of accessibility, particularly for the blind or
    visually impaired.

    Website accessibility lawsuits hit a record high in 2018, with retail
    being the most frequently targeted industry. More lawsuits were filed in court in the first six months of 2018 (1,053) than in all of 2017 (814), according to the NRF.

    The likes of Visa and Target have lost such lawsuits, and earlier this
    year a class-action was filed against Beyonc's official website, alleging that Beyonce.com violates the ADA by denying visually impaired users equal access to its products and services.

    "To be fair to businesses," Mr Danielson says, "there are lawyers taking advantage of the situation, but cutting the legs from under the ADA is an overcorrection. and stops the flow of legitimate plaintiffs."

    Ultimately, those pushing for digital accessibility argue that businesses have no excuse for dragging their feet over it.

    "It's not hard to do, it should just be part of best practice, not an additional line item, just like making sure a website loads quickly is,"
    says Laura Kalbag, a website designer and author of Accessibility for Everyone.

    "It basically just involves HTML coding, which even a blogger can do. If
    it is a huge website, it might take some time, but the work itself is not complicated."

    Image copyrightJAMES JEFFREY
    Image caption
    A statue of a man and his guide dog interacting with a little girl outside the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
    She adds it is a myth that making a website accessible makes it ugly,
    there is no correlation - you can still have snazzy images and graphics.

    Ms Gonzales says that because she is also gluten intolerant, she likes to
    use Domino's as it offers gluten-free pizzas, and she has managed to use
    its online site. But selecting toppings is tricky - and sometimes she has
    had to get her mother to step in.

    That the courts are also stepping in is part of the problem, Ms Martz explains. "This should be dealt with by government and Congress amending
    the ADA."

    Any discussion of accessibility should look at the whole picture - a blind person can always ring Domino's toll-free number and order that way, she adds.

    "As a teacher who has to speak all day, sometimes, like everyone else, I don't want to get into another conversation and just want to do it
    online," Jeff Molzow, a blind instructor at the Criss Cole Rehabilitation Center which trains blind people to compete in the work force, says about
    why that toll-free number doesn't always appeal.

    "Also, I want time to peruse the menu and make up my mind - you can't do
    that if you are speaking to someone on the phone."

    The Domino's case is symptomatic, say many working with the blind, of the wider problem of how blind people, or anyone with a disability, are still
    not fully on society's radar.

    Image copyrightJAMES JEFFREY
    Image caption
    Jeff Molzow at the Criss Cole Rehabilitation Center
    "All the info is out there about digital accessibility. Tim Berners-Lee,
    the inventor of the internet, was discussing it in the mid-90s, and we
    have pushed it for years," says Jim Allan, an accessibility coordinator at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

    "But people still have low expectations of what blind people can do and
    don't use their imaginations about the possibilities - until they are hit with the fire hose of info from the likes of us, after which they get it."

    The awareness of businesses and companies is improving but still slowly,
    says Mr Allan, noting that only federal and state websites are mandated to
    be fully accessible by all users. This despite digital accessibility being required by a much larger segment of society, especially as people age and start to lose sight and hearing.

    How do blind people enjoy the Mona Lisa?
    NHS to offer gene therapy for rare eye disease
    "We treat disabled people as if they are different but that isn't the
    case, as digital accessibility affects all of us," says Ms Kalbag. "If nothing else, you should see it in a selfish way, as one day you will probably need this type of accessibility."

    It is the same in the physical realm, where the likes of wheelchair access ramps are gladly embraced by mothers with prams and cyclists.

    But even when digital accessibility is achieved, challenges remain for
    blind people that are familiar to all.

    "Sometimes I worry about using social media too much, like everyone else,"
    Ms Gonzalez says.

    "But without my phone I would be very lost - I wouldn't be able to do much and would be very dependent on others, when I prefer to do it on my own."

    Related Topics
    United StatesDisabilityBlindness and visual-impairment
    Share this story About sharing


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