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Posted: 2/10/2006 8:46:09 AM EDT

Oh for shit's sake!



URL=sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/02/09/BAGQHH5H7D1.DTL]Blind student sues Target over firm's Web site

It lacks software that allows access to visually impaired
- Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer
San Francisco Chronicle
Thursday, February 9, 2006

A blind UC Berkeley student is suing Target Corp., saying the retailer is violating the civil rights of those who cannot see because its Web site is inaccessible to them.

Although it might seem odd that the blind would use a Web site like www.target.com,]www.target.com, advocates for the blind said Wednesday that computer software and coding embedded in Web sites makes surfing the Internet as easy for those who cannot see as it is for those who can.

But Target's Web site, according to the lawsuit filed Tuesday in Alameda County Superior Court, does not support such software, making the site useless to the blind -- a violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act and various state laws.

"Target thus excludes the blind from full and equal participation in the growing Internet economy that is increasingly a fundamental part of daily life," said the suit, which seeks class action certification.

Advocates for the blind said the lawsuit is a shot across the bow for retailers, newspapers and other businesses that have Web sites the blind cannot use. They chose Target because of its popularity and because of a large number of complaints by blind patrons.
TRANSLATION: "Deep Pockets"

"What I hope is that Target and other online merchants will realize how important it is to reach 1.3 million people in this nation and the growing Baby Boomer population who will also be losing vision," said Bruce Sexton Jr., 24, the blind third-year Cal student who filed the suit.

In a statement Wednesday, Target said it hadn't been served with the suit and couldn't comment. "However, we strive to make our goods and services available to all of our guests, including those with disabilities," the company said.

Sexton, president of the California Association of Blind Students, said making Target's Web site accessible to the blind would also make it more navigable by those without vision problems.

Marc Maurer, president of the National Federation of the Blind in Baltimore, an advocacy group that's also a plaintiff in the suit, said Wednesday that the complaint is based on the theory that the online portals of "brick-and-mortar stores" must be equally accessible. Too often, he said, such is not the case.

"Target is one of the biggest companies in the country," Maurer said. "One of the things we're trying to do is change the way this is done."

Blind people access Web sites using keyboards and screen-reading software that vocalizes the information others see on a computer screen. But Target's site lacks "alt-text," an invisible code embedded beneath images on the Web site that screen-reading software uses to provide descriptions to the blind, the suit said.

The Web site also has inaccessible image maps, the suit said. Image maps, when clicked on by sighted users, allow the patron to jump to other parts of the Web site. Without image maps, visitors to www.target.com]www.target.com must use a mouse to complete transactions -- preventing blind patrons from surfing the site or making online purchases, the suit said.

Some companies, like Wells Fargo & Co., have Web sites accessible to the blind, said Mazen Basrawi, an attorney with Disability Rights Advocates of Berkeley, which represents the plaintiffs.

In 2003, Wells Fargo was the first financial institution to have its Web site certified by Maurer's group, bank spokesman Chris Hammond said.

Basrawi said the plaintiffs began negotiating with Target after writing to the retailer in May 2005. But talks broke down last month, and the company, which the attorney described as "one of the biggest offenders," declined to modify its Web site.

"Blind people have complained about (Target's Web site) in particular," Basrawi said. "That one's gotten a lot of complaints, especially because it's completely unusable. A blind person cannot make a purchase independently on target.com."

Target has 1,400 stores in 47 states, including 205 in California, and reported $46 billion in revenue in 2004.




Where's the "I Can't See Shit!" pic?

Link Posted: 2/10/2006 8:48:02 AM EDT
why isnt he suing al gore? he did invent the internet after all, with no provisions for the blind.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 8:49:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/10/2006 8:49:41 AM EDT by ArmedAggie]
Lawsuits truly are destroying this nation.

ETA: In my opinion these types of thing are a bigger threat than terrorism.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 8:49:21 AM EDT
I laugh every time I pull up to an ATM that has a Braille key pad. WTF???
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 8:50:14 AM EDT
Now can we nuke Berkeley? Mecca for idiots.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 8:55:59 AM EDT
it's not about equal rights with these people - it's about equal results. here's a great acticle:

www.townhall.com/opinion/columns/thomassowell/2005/10/11/170808.html
Spoiled brat politics
Oct 11, 2005
by Thomas Sowell

An editorial in a recent issue of the National Geographic's "Traveler" magazine complained that kayakers in Maine found "residential development" near national parks and urged its readers to use their "influence" to prevent such things.

"You are the stakeholders in our national parks," it said.

Really? What stake do kayakers and others of like mind have that is not also a stake held by people who build the vacation homes whose presence offends the kayak set? Homeowners are just as much citizens and taxpayers as kayakers are, and they are even entitled to equal treatment under the 14th Amendment.

The essence of bigotry is denying others the same rights you claim for yourself. Green bigots are a classic example.

The idea that government is supposed to make your desires override the desires of other citizens has spread from the green bigots to other groups who claim privileges in the name of rights.

In California a group of golfers in wheelchairs are suing a hotel chain for not providing them with special carts that will enable them to navigate the local hotel's golf course more comfortably and play the game better.

According to a newspaper account, the kinds of carts the golfers in wheelchairs want "have rotating seats so a golfer can swing and strike a ball from the tee, the fairway and on the green without getting out of the vehicle." If golfers want this kind of cart, there is nothing to stop them from buying one -- except that they would rather have other people be forced to pay for it.

One of the golfers in this lawsuit has been confined to a wheelchair as a result of a diving accident and another as a result of a gunshot wound. Apparently the hotel had nothing to do with either.

There was a time when people would have said that the hotel is not responsible for these golfers being in wheelchairs and therefore it has no obligation to spend additional money for special carts in order to help their scores on the links. But that was before the Americans with Disabilities Act, under which the hotel is being sued.

If the government wanted to do something for the disabled or the handicapped, it could have spent its own tax money to do so. Instead, it passed the Americans with Disabilities Act, which created a right to sue private institutions, in order to force them to spend their money to solve the problems of individuals with special problems or special desires, whether serious or frivolous.

It was a lawyer's full-employment act, creating another legally recognized victim group, empowered to claim special privileges, at other people's expense, in the name of equal rights. Nor could such legislation make the usual claim that it was coming to the defense of the poor and the downtrodden. Golf courses are not the natural habitat of the poor and the downtrodden.

One of the plaintiffs in the golf-course lawsuit is a former managing partner in a large law firm. He says, "I just want the same opportunity as everyone else" to "get out and play 18 holes with my friends and colleagues."

Equal opportunity does not mean equal results, despite how many laws and policies proceed as if it does, or how much fashionable rhetoric equates the two.

An example of that rhetoric was the title of a recent New York Times column: "A Ticket to Bias." That column recalled bitterly a time before the Americans with Disabilities Act, when a woman in a wheelchair bought a $300 ticket to a rock concert but was unable to see when other people around her stood up. This was equated with "bias" on the part of those who ran the arena.

Even now, decades after this incident, the woman in the wheelchair declares, "true equality remains a dream out of reach." Apparently only equality of results is "true" equality.

A recent publication of the American Historical Association shows this same confusion when it says that doors "are largely closed" to people who want to become historians if they didn't graduate from a top-tier college. In other words, unequal results proves bias that closed doors, according to this rhetoric.

Confusion between equal opportunity and equal results is a dangerous confusion behind many kinds of spoiled brat politics.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 8:56:04 AM EDT
I say give him the $$

Target = French bastards.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 8:58:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/10/2006 9:04:10 AM EDT by Gloftoe]
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 9:00:34 AM EDT
The internet is not a place of public accomodation, it is a communications service.

The ADA shouldn't apply.

What do the ARFCOM lawyers say?
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 9:02:04 AM EDT
Can we sue California for being unamerican? Fuck it lets take them over and burn the place down, not like they have any .50s to shot back lol.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 9:03:40 AM EDT
+1 on all the comments above this post...
Oh My GOD!!!!
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 9:10:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By bvmjethead:
I say give him the $$

Target = French bastards.





Target is a US based company headquartered in MN.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 9:10:52 AM EDT
What the fuck next? Deaf people suing stereo equipment companies for not making their products generate significant sounds waves for them to feel the music they play? We need to make frivolous lawsuits a capital crime for the lawyers and the plaintiffs.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 9:12:03 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 9:14:11 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 9:20:16 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 9:22:05 AM EDT
Maybe, just to play it safe, all websites should shut down. Then there will be no Internet to inconvenience the blind (heh, heh... good thing they can't read this!).

Reminds me of the small town I grew up in... someone there wanted to open a dance studio. The problem was, the town insisted that it be made handicapped-accessible, with ramps and dual bathroom facilities, etc. It was to be a small business, built within a converted house. Due to the expense involved, they never went through with their plan, at least not in that town.

My point is that why do they need wheelchair ramps at a dance studio? Whatever happened to common sense?
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 9:23:15 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 9:23:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Aimless:

Originally Posted By ArmedAggie:
Lawsuits truly are destroying this nation.

ETA: In my opinion these types of thing are a bigger threat than terrorism.



Personally I'd rather be sued than have my head cut off with a chainsaw, but that's just me.



The odds of having your head chainsawed off are fairly low IMO. EVERYBODY is at risk from bullshit lawsuits.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 9:27:38 AM EDT
So why doesn't he sue every company in the world who prints brochures without braille?
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 9:29:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/10/2006 9:30:04 AM EDT by skygod]
Its pathetic lawsuits like this that will destroy this country.

We SHOULD go to the way the Romans did it, LOSER PAYS!

Then we wouldnt not see every fucking idiot suing anyone they way.

Link Posted: 2/10/2006 9:31:09 AM EDT
behold....greed.....
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 9:31:59 AM EDT
ADA = The Full Lawyer Employment Act.

Biggest windfall for trial attorneys.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 9:33:57 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Aimless:

Originally Posted By ArmedAggie:
Lawsuits truly are destroying this nation.

ETA: In my opinion these types of thing are a bigger threat than terrorism.



Personally I'd rather be sued than have my head cut off with a chainsaw, but that's just me.



I agree with the poster in terms of the scope of the threat.
While terrorism is incredibly important and it remains vital that we fight it. (AND WIN!)
And I believe the country could be destroyed if we are nt diligent.
It seems that the cost of business is rising exponentially due to frivolous lawsuits.
It drives pharmacueticals out of the country, it is a weapon to destroy comapanies (gun co's especially), there are so many citizens looking for ways to steal from large companies by falling, "being wronged" etc....
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 9:34:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By BenDover:
So why doesn't he sue every company in the world who prints brochures without braille?



Because he can't SEE them, so he wouldn't know who to sue.

The thing is, how did he find the Target website if he can't see? Where did he find the url?
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 9:34:56 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 9:36:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/10/2006 9:40:20 AM EDT by FITTER]

Originally Posted By skygod:
Its pathetic lawsuits like this that will destroy this country.

We SHOULD go to the way the Romans did it, LOSER PAYS!

Then we wouldnt not see every fucking idiot suing anyone they way.




I agree. Put an end to the frivolous lawsuits.

IIRC, Kerry was AGAINST tort reform...
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 9:39:20 AM EDT
The "American Idiot Movement" will continue to grow like a cancer until these equally idiot "judges" STOP awarding $ to those morons!


Bruce Sexton Jr., 24, the blind third-year Cal student who filed the suit.


Bruce should be rolled out into traffic!!!!


Link Posted: 2/10/2006 9:52:32 AM EDT
That's some stupid shit. Some things deserve to be sue'd over....such as a car accident where the insurance company is trying it's damnedist not to pay out....some things are just ghey....like this partiuclar instance, or the hot coffee lady suing mc donalds
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 9:58:58 AM EDT
You gotta admit, the leeches are getting creative. First they sued McDonalds when they burned their own crotch. Then they sued McDonalds for making them fat. Now people don't even need to get burned or obese or messed up in any way. They can be born blind and sue random corporations for their problems. Man, those human sponges have come a long way in a short time.

And to think, back in my day bums held up signs next to the road begging for money. Now they'll hire lawyers to fleece you not giving them money which violates their civil right of having a full wallet! Having a full wallet is a civil right? Right?

Link Posted: 2/10/2006 3:41:22 PM EDT
nightcrewbump
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 4:46:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/10/2006 7:06:57 PM EDT by FLAL1A]
The ADA was Bush 41's "Screw You!" to the market economy. It is is perhaps the best example of the tryanny that arises when charitable impulses are channeled into compulsion: "On average, ADA compliance will add only 9% to the cost of new construction and 13% to the cost of rebuilding. Shouldn't everyone be able to participate? So why don't we just MAKE IT MANDATORY?"

I have never been able to figure out why a merchant doesn't have the right to do the math and conclude - right or wrong - that there just aren't enough horny myopic dwarves in his town to allow him to ever recoup the cost of putting large-print-labeled condom machines 14" off the floor in the bathroom of his bar.

America will rot from within before any foreign element takes it down. Our guiding principle is gradually completing the transition from "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" to "good health, clean living, and niceness - at the point of a gun."
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 5:08:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Aimless:

Originally Posted By ArmedAggie:
Lawsuits truly are destroying this nation.

ETA: In my opinion these types of thing are a bigger threat than terrorism.



Personally I'd rather be sued than have my head cut off with a chainsaw, but that's just me.



He means in general to soceity, that we might end up destroying ourselvs from within with bickering and petty infighting than from an external threat.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 5:11:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Aimless:

Originally Posted By ArmedAggie:
Lawsuits truly are destroying this nation.

ETA: In my opinion these types of thing are a bigger threat than terrorism.



Personally I'd rather be sued than have my head cut off with a chainsaw, but that's just me.



Way to miss the point, dude.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 5:13:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By bvmjethead:
I say give him the $$

Target = French bastards.



When does Minnesota = France???
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 5:25:08 PM EDT
Obviously got a good education at Berkeley. The plaintiff will have more money before he reaches 22 than many of us will see in a lifetime. ANd, he won't have to do very much for it, other than whine a little. Indeed, the ADA will make his access to the ATM/civil court system easier, as well. The attorney/money farmer will put up a new place in, say, Bodega Bay, overlooking the Pacific. See, the system does indeed improve lives!
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 5:35:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By FLAL1A:
The ADA was Bush 41's "Screw You!" to the market economy. It is is perhaps the best example of the tryanny that arises when charitable impulses are channeled into compulsion: "On average, ADA compliance will add only 9% to the cost of new construction and 13% to the cost of rebuilding. Shouldn't everyone be able to participate? So why don't we just MAKE IT MANDATORY?

I have never been able to figure out why a merchant doesn't have the right to do the math and conclude - right or wrong - that there just aren't enough horny myopic dwarves in his town to allow him to ever recoup the cost of putting large-print-labeled condom machines 14" off the floor in the bathroom of his bar.

America will rot from within before any foreign element takes it down. Our guiding principle is gradually completing the transition from "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" to "good health, clean living, and niceness - at the point of a gun."

Absolutely.

Every word of it.

Link Posted: 2/10/2006 5:39:22 PM EDT
FUUUUUUUUUUCK her!


Target should have bought her a Seeing Eye Cat and told her to train it on I-95.

OTOH, it might be unfair to the cat.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 5:51:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/10/2006 5:55:02 PM EDT by goodmedicine]

"Target thus excludes the blind from full and equal participation in the growing Internet economy that is increasingly a fundamental part of daily life," said the suit, which seeks class action certification.


A check for a $1.97 to a million blind plaintiffs.

$ Millions $ for 1.97 lawyers

GM
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 6:47:53 PM EDT
Yep - its call STANDARDS. www.w3c.org.

If everyone adheared to these standards, they would be accessable to blind and other disablled people.

bah - amature web designers. And big companies are not immune to shitty design.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 6:49:54 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Janus:

Originally Posted By bvmjethead:
I say give him the $$

Target = French bastards.





Target is a US based company headquartered in MN.



They also banned the Salvation Army, so fuck 'em.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 6:53:43 PM EDT
Target is owned by Democrats (Senator Mark Dayton-MN)

Link Posted: 2/10/2006 6:55:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/10/2006 6:56:00 PM EDT by Zippy_The_Wonderdog]
Makes me want to blast an air horn right in his ears.

It's not like he'd see me coming. It'd be easy to do.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 6:58:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ArmedAggie:
Lawsuits truly are destroying this nation.

ETA: In my opinion these types of thing are a bigger threat than terrorism.



Ed Zachary.

Link Posted: 2/10/2006 7:10:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Mister44:
Yep - its call STANDARDS. www.w3c.org.

If everyone adheared to these standards, they would be accessable to blind and other disablled people.

bah - amature web designers. And big companies are not immune to shitty design.



Dude, if they only allowed W3C compliant sites there wouldn't be a site on the internet other than "Hello world"

EVERY major or popular site violates some aspect of W3C.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 7:34:57 PM EDT
I can SEE why she wants to sue. $$$$$$$$$$$$ No other damn reason. Taking advantage of her blindness to screw the system. I don't SEE her blind reasoning though.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 7:39:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/10/2006 7:41:05 PM EDT by deej86]
Holy shit, that's got to be the dumbest thing all day...Oh my god where the hell do these stupid asshats come from?!

I....I....I don't get it. I'm fucking speechless.

Blind=cannot see=cannot access a website.

W
T
F
over?!
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 8:04:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By mmx1:

Originally Posted By Mister44:
Yep - its call STANDARDS. www.w3c.org.

If everyone adheared to these standards, they would be accessable to blind and other disablled people.

bah - amature web designers. And big companies are not immune to shitty design.



Dude, if they only allowed W3C compliant sites there wouldn't be a site on the internet other than "Hello world"

EVERY major or popular site violates some aspect of W3C.



I am not talking about ALLOWING. But there is NO excuse other than the fact people are stuipd and lazy. Other than flash based sites (of which there are FAR too many and uneccessary ones) any site should be able to pass Standards.

Link Posted: 2/10/2006 8:08:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By deej86:
Holy shit, that's got to be the dumbest thing all day...Oh my god where the hell do these stupid asshats come from?!

I....I....I don't get it. I'm fucking speechless.

Blind=cannot see=cannot access a website.

W
T
F
over?!



Actually - the blind can access the web. Moron. Its called a text to speech browser. There is A LOT of information on the net. And there are programs to help blind people access it. No reason a blind person couldnt surf Target.com and order some socks online.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 8:21:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Mister44:
Yep - its call STANDARDS. www.w3c.org.

If everyone adheared to these standards, they would be accessable to blind and other disablled people.

bah - amature web designers. And big companies are not immune to shitty design.


No - it's called FREEDOM. www.constitution.com

If everyone adhered to these standards, we wouldn't have such oppressive government interference and people wouldn't be FORCED to submit to a tyranny of the minority.

Bah - ignorant collectivists. And supposedly freedom-loving people are not immune to shitty understanding of "freedom".

Link Posted: 2/10/2006 8:23:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Gloftoe:

Originally Posted By bvmjethead:
I say give him the $$

Target = French bastards.


*sigh*

I hate internet rumors.
www.snopes.com/politics/military/target.asp



+1 I used to work for Target, they have nothing to do with france and are based in my home state of Minnesota.

In fact, when Minnesota got concealed carry a few years ago, the CCW lobbying group sent out emails (IIRC) to everyone asking people to thank Target for their support by publicly choosing not to ban concealed weapons in their stores.
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