RE: Legal Precedent Set for Web Accessibility

I too had an hour long (very intense) debate with one of my web
designers over accessibility this week.  He knows I'm the
"self-appointed accessibility goddess at UT"...and yet, he still thought
accessibility was optional on a specific project he was doing for me.


He thought, "no blind person will ever use this content" and it made him
really angry that I would require him to add alt.  We spent more time
arguing about the issue than it would have taken him to fix it.
But...the time was well spent, because it was a deep seated philosophy
and I think I finally found a way to help him see why it really is a
worthwhile endeavor.  It wasn't until I got to SEO that he even started
to think it might be valuable to add alt.


When it comes right down to it, web designers can still fall prey to the
"this is a waste of my time".  And that is where our opportunity lies.
We need to uncover those deeply hidden beliefs and examine them in the
day light, listen to the reasons why they think it is a waste of
time...and then...carefully respond with real reasons why it is worth


Written on my white board today is an accessibility rule of thumb I
proposed to my designer yesterday.  It reads:


Accessibility Goal = 100%  (but since I can't pull that off
is how I make day to day decisions)

1)       Make it Accessible - I expect it to be accessible.  

2)       Undue Burden + Not Important Content -  If, and ONLY IF, you
feel that making the content accessible will create an undue burden AND
the content is "not important"...then come talk to me about it...and we
will brainstorm solutions together.


I also just sent a message to the contacts I have at Target offering
them a helping hand.  Because while the management at Target may be a
little slow to realize that "accessible design is good design", I know
for a fact, there are developers in there that would LOVE to make that
site accessible.





glenda sims | university of texas at austin <>  | <>   

web for everyone. web on everything. - w3 goals


From: [] On
Behalf Of John Baab
Sent: Friday, September 08, 2006 12:00 PM
Subject: Re: Legal Precedent Set for Web Accessibility


I am sure that there will be apeal after apeal trying to fight this.
But for now it seems like a great victory.  I just don't understand how
so many people can have a problem with coding their webpages the correct
way.  I mentioned this at work today and got nothing but resistance from
everyone around, people need to get over the fact that they don't
actually do their job correctly, learn the correct way and quit being so
defensive about it. 


On 9/8/06, David Poehlman <>

I suggest this be studied thoroughly..  There is a thread on this
topic at the section 508 list which indicates that it's far from a 

On Sep 8, 2006, at 10:43 AM, John Foliot - wrote:

Federal Judge Sustains Discrimination Claims Against Target; Precedent
Establishes That Retailers Must Make Their Websites Accessible to the 
Blind Under the ADA:

John Foliot 
Web Accessibility Specialist - Web Accessibility Testing and Services
Phone: 1-613-482-7053


Received on Friday, 8 September 2006 17:25:36 UTC