Being sued because our website is not accessable to the visually impared

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by SixPapaCharlie, Feb 4, 2019.

  1. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    could also sell it to the color blind too....
     
  2. Gerhardt

    Gerhardt En-Route

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    Huh. Never pegged you for working for a cool company who makes things I really like.
     
  3. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Well, one good thing about it all, is that the vision impaired can't see if you are joking about taking cash for instruction.
     
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  4. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Did it come via certified mail?
     
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  5. tawood

    tawood Pattern Altitude

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    What?
     
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  6. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I just ran this page thru the test site...7 errors and 108 alerts.

    tsk tsk tsk
     
  7. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    Tort!!!
    Tort!!!
     
  8. Ventucky Red

    Ventucky Red Line Up and Wait

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    A while back there was a shyster in Orange County (California) that was running around a suing restaurants for not being ADA 580 compliant... access ramps, handicap table, bathrooms, etc.... Had a good little business going as many of the suits were for $5000.00 which the owner just paid as it was cheaper that trying to fight it.. He barked up the wrong tree one day and it ended up getting him disbarred let alone a quick trip to the poor house..

    There is a god and his sister karma is a real bitch sometimes...
     
  9. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    Just reply that you understand you have received an email, but being visually impaired, you cannot decipher the contents and it is illegal of them not to provide the translation. Perhaps you could counter sue anyway because their own email is not encoded for the visually impaired?

    Sounds like a new scammer shakedown. Like the phone call of getting sued by the IRS or having one of those tower guys tell you to call a number...sheesh, what do they know? ;)
     
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  10. write-stuff

    write-stuff En-Route

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    We had to contend with a similar complaint/threat a few years back. I have forgotten the details, but there is an accepted argument you can make that it would be too costly for you to do.
     
  11. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Most of those "test sites" are ridiculous. They'll gig you on things like heading tags not being in descending order (for example, using h3 for subsections of an h1, and then beginning the next section as h2). No one gives a **** about that sort of thing. If a screen reader is able to recite the site and describe the images accurately, that alone puts the site in the the top 10 percent accessibility-wise.

    One thing that has always bothered me is when designers use the ALT tags for SEO rather than for their intended purpose (to describe the image). Search engine robots do use the ALT tags to better understand the site, and from time to time they do factor into their SERP algos; so some designers who have lost all sense of ethics and have become total whores to Google try to stuff the tags with keywords for SEO purposes. Spamming the blind, as it were, for SERP.

    I'm no big friend of regulations, but I'm an advocate for Web accessibility because it's just so easy to do that there's little excuse not to. If you do nothing but use ems or percents for your fonts so they scale (which you really should be doing anyway for responsiveness), keep the ALT tags honest and descriptive, clean up your ****ty markup, and caption multimedia, even the sleaziest of shysters won't be able to make a case stick.

    Rich
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  12. iflyvfr

    iflyvfr Pattern Altitude

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    These extortion threats have been making the rounds in the credit union industry the past 2 years, including my own employer. Here's a little bit from NAFCU: https://www.nafcu.org/ada about it. The industry wags took up the banner on behalf of all credit unions. Because my company has a community-based membership in one geo-statistical area of the state and the complainant was from out of state (Texas or California) we simply argued he was not eligible for membership, so no injury. It was a nuisance but we did clean up our site.
     
  13. Clip4

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    Interesting, do you have an attorney who could send a return email stating his email discriminated against those with anger disorders by provoking them?
     
  14. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Apparently nothing to see here folks.
    Move along...
     
  15. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yeah, but best practices can be hard and cost money and thus nobody actually wants to do them, they just want the rewards without the work...

    Of course, the first thing I thought of when you mentioned ALT tags was XKCD... Clearly not friendly to the visually impaired!
     
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  16. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Playa fo real
    I'm sure doing the above is a great idea, however, you shouldn't have to do any of the above. Any rational court should realize that.
     
  17. Stephen Poole

    Stephen Poole Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    I have learned so much from all of you folks here. Still planning to start working on my license this summer, but I have picked up all sorts of great info here in less than a year. When I can contribute, I'll try. This may be one of those times.

    Bryan, it'll cost a few bucks, but go talk to an attorney familiar with ADA. My gut tells me that you don't have much to worry about. I doubt you have more than 14 employees, and there are exceptions for very small businesses. The "client" also has to demonstrate real damages -- "I tried to buy something through that Website and couldn't!" But if you're using Wayfair as your virtual storefront, it seems that THEY, and not you, are the ones on the hook.

    Possibility: write a very nice letter saying, "wow, I'm sorry your client had trouble with our Website. Please tell me specifically what deficiencies were found and we'll correct them ASAP." If nothing else, that makes YOU look much better if it does go to court. You're trying to be reasonable.

    I strongly suspect that this is an ADA Troll looking for a quick payout. If it turns out to be for real, start a GoFundMe for your legal expenses and I'll kick in some bucks. It'll take a lot of money, though ... and that's what the Troll hopes for: a quick $5,000 check to make him go away.

    Since we're in the Hangar, I'll finish with a political-thingie: the United States is one of very, very few nations in the entire world that doesn't have some form of "Loser Pay" law. (In the legal profession, it's called the "English/British Rule." Look it up.) If we had that here in the USA, these legal trolls would disappear overnight.

    But anytime anyone in the USA even proposes loser pay, lines get drawn, the American Bar Association screams about children and unfairness, and nothing is ever done. (And besides, some of the biggest donors to Congressional campaigns are -- drum roll, please! -- the lawyers.) (Not to mention that many of the members of Congress are lawyers themselves!)

    Meanwhile, your aged grandmother may be sitting in her apartment with no heat, and the landlord doesn't care, because he knows that Grandma can't afford an attorney to take him to court. It's insane.

    Keep everyone posted on this. I have a special loathing for patent trolls, ADA trolls, and every other kind of legal troll.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
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  18. Sluggo63

    Sluggo63 Line Up and Wait

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    When I can contribute, I try. This is one of those times.

    BrYan...

    ...that is all...

    ;)
     
  19. DutchRoller

    DutchRoller Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I always thought there was some sort or reasonableness test for these sort of things.
     
  20. RJM62

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    I'm not too sure about that. ALT tags being inadequate, insufficient, or spammy are probably the most common grounds for complaints; and ALT tags also have standards defined by W3C. So if they are absent or defective, it's not just a matter of the designer choosing not to do something extra to be nice to visually-impaired people, but rather a matter of not adhering to long-established industry standards.

    Even images too complex to be explained in an ALT tag, such as complex charts, have a W3C specification (the "longdesc" link); so the argument that an image is too complicated to describe wouldn't fly with W3C. If the court uses "established industry standards" as a yardstick, then it wouldn't fly with the court, either.

    Rich
     
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  21. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    sooner or later.....he'll see it their way. ;)
     
  22. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

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    The hard part is IDGAF and if this were MY website, I'd tell them as much.
    However in this situation, I work for a big company with money and lawyers and the need to complicate things.

    My response "What are the damages? There is no way we are wasting a minute of energy on this"
    So they are already like "Bryan, go find out how others handle this, we already have our lawyers on the phone."

    I just want to convert the website to wingdings.
     
  23. Cluemeister

    Cluemeister Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    How do I join this class action lawsuit against Bryan’s website? I want to make sure I get my $1.00 coupon settlement.
     
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  24. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    And maybe even a mousepad if you're really lucky.

    Rich
     
  25. gkainz

    gkainz Final Approach

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    Bryan, I didn't realize this was work related website... I thought it was yours personally and specifically aviation-related, hence my comment about making as much sense as braille drive up ATMs ... the complaint being that visually-impaired person unable to buy (non)CFI flight time from a (non)CFI from a (non)existant website :D
     
  26. flhrci

    flhrci En-Route

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    POA is going to sue you just 'cause! LOL
     
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  27. RJM62

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    I'm sure it's true that the lawyer chose your company because it has money. But it also is probably true that your site is grossly out of compliance with W3C standards for accessibility, which are the closest thing we have to a baseline.

    I say that because if I were a lawyer, ambulance-chasing or otherwise, I wouldn't waste my time (especially if working on contingency) suing over a site that was even within shouting distance of W3C compliance. It would be too chancy. The interpretation of what is an adequate ALT description for a given picture, for example, is just too subjective to take a gamble on. Instead, I'd look for a site that was grossly out of compliance either because of completely lacking accessibility elements or such hopelessly messed-up markup that screen readers throw up their hands and give up trying to read it.

    Your best bet, in my non-lawyer opinion, is to hire either a Web designer (not me) renown for his / her expertise in accessibility, or any competent Web designer and a consultant in accessibility who can work together.

    I'm out of the bidding. I'm an expert on accessibility, but I'm not a recognized expert. Once you're sued, you need someone well-known in the industry as an expert in that area.

    You may want to reach out to AFB. They have a fellow there (Lee, I think) who specializes in low-vision accessibility. They probably also maintain a list of designers who are skilled in accessibility.

    Rich
     
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  28. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    A public company shouldn't have to have an accessible website?

    Are you against the ADA in general, or do you just not care about other people?

    There's certainly plenty of ADA abuses out there, and I hate these troll lawyers... But having web sites, stores, etc be accessible to blind or otherwise disabled people is a benefit to our society, because it means those people are more able to be self-sufficient. I have a couple of friends who are blind (one lifelong, one as a result of an incident with undiagnosed hypertension) and being able to be functional online is HUGE to them.

    @SixPapaCharlie, were I you, I would get your website accessible ASAP, and then tell those lawyers to pound sand.
     
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  29. Stephen Poole

    Stephen Poole Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    Thanks, @Sluggo63. Edited. I don't like it when people misspell my name.

    Sorry, BrYan. ;)
     
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  30. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

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    So could a blind person sue Netflix?
     
  31. RJM62

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    If the source media has spoken closed captioning for the blind, and they don't pass it along to the users, I would say yes.

    If the source media doesn't contain it because it was produced before the technology existed, then I doubt Netflix could be held responsible for providing it (nor that they legally could, given copyright restrictions).

    Rich
     
  32. jsstevens

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    Of course. The question is: "would they win?"
     
  33. EdFred

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    Depends on the website and business. In my business, I can't imagine a blind person ever using what we sell. It may or may not be ADA compliant.
     
  34. tawood

    tawood Pattern Altitude

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    You obviously have no experience with the court system.
     
  35. jsstevens

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    And they, in fact, do. I accidentally turned on the audio narration (don't remember what the option was called) and started WALLE. It was, interesting. Given that the first 45 minutes or so of that movie has no dialog, I'm not sure how useful it would be.
     
  36. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It describes things like scenery and the characters' actions. That's far better than nothing for a blind person.

    Rich
     
  37. jsstevens

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    Yes. I listened to some of it. But that movie in particular would be hard to keep up with as a blind person.
     
  38. aftCG

    aftCG Pre-takeoff checklist

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    People advocating coughing up $5k to make the troll go away must think more trolls won't be along shortly.

    Troll #1 is likely working a list of soft targets (ie, operating in the black) he paid for.
     
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  39. PPC1052

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    Not enough information. Does said blind person have enough cash for the filing fee?
     
  40. Salty

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