You probably know that the American National Federation for the Blind are suing Target over their inaccessible website, after alerting them to the problem months ago and seeing no remedial action – even though the fixes would be trivial.
What’s shocked me is the response to it by some in the web development community.
Even on Molly‘s and Derek Featherstone‘s blogs, there were negative comments, suggesting that The Great American Way™ is somehow diluted if governments “interfere” in the free market by stopping discriminatory behaviour by those poor, put-upon corporations.
But on SitePoint the comments have been appalling. Fortunately, Patrick “Redux” Lauke has been tirelessly posting in a moderate, measured tone.
My capacity for such a tone is hampered by reading moron comments like “The internet is not made for blind people”. Tell that to Tim Berners-Lee, you twat. Indeed, “If they where blind then why would they be on the computer?” [sic]. It is suggested that “if you have bad eye sight you should expect it … its no ones fault and if the site owner wants his site for normal people then thats fair”.
One of my favourites (from Chris Beasley, a SitePoint blogger!): “Whats ignorant is thinking disabled people are normal. They are not normal … Here in the US we spend 10x more per year to send one disabled kid to a normal highschool than we spend on the smartest kid in that highschool.”
I stand by what I wrote on that forum (when a little fired up, having just come back from Karate training):
If you … can’t be bothered to build sites properly, go and do something else. Become a politician and get the Disability Discrimination Act repealed, if the thought of cripples buying things online offends you so much. But don’t whimper if you’re too lazy, too arrogant or too complacent to learn how to do your job properly.
What was it Molly was saying about the new Professionalism?
But what the fuck do I know? As someone with a disability, I’ve evidently no right to an opinion. In fact, I’d better log off now; I shouldn’t be using a computer at all, and anyway it’s time to put on my Village Idiot costume and start drooling while the local children throw things at me and call me a Spastic – just like they did in the Good Old Days.
Update 1 March 06: I’d like to point out that SitePoint are splendid people, purveyor of good books (a couple of which I’ve reviewed), and while they don’t endorse the views on their discussion forums, they very rightly choose not to censor them.
Update 29 August 06. Chris Beasley accuses me of
“socialist leanings”, and froths so much that he forgets the rules of syntax and punctuation. Bless.
September 2006: update on legal action.