One Small Step For Man….

(via Yahoo News)

Is really hard to see if you are blind.

“Links list dialogue.” “Links list view.” “Your Account — Two of 164.” This is what the Internet sounds like to Chris Danielsen. Danielsen is blind. He’s using a software program called Jaws that converts the text on a Web page into a computerized voice that comes out through a speaker, allowing him to surf the Web using keyboard commands instead of a mouse — the same way lots of blind people use the Internet.

But I’m more interested in the lawsuit facing Target. Apparently the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) is suing Target due to their websites poor accessibility. The idea of accessibility on the web is not exactly a hot topic; but If the NFB wins this suit accessibility may be the next buzzword to make everyone forget about “Web 2.0.” Kevin has been preaching about accessibility to our clients for years, but I’m sure not one of them has any idea what it means or why it’s important.

Accessibility on the web is just not an easy thing for people who aren’t handicapped to understand. For anyone using a screen reader though, accessibility is the most important part of the World Wide Web. Imagine having to listen to all 70 links going down the side of a page before you get to the link you need because the site is poorly designed and organized. You would go nuts. Or you don’t hear anything because the site was designed using images in the navigation and the developer forgot to include alt text.

Do we really need to make blind peoples’ lives harder because we can’t take the time to develop websites properly?

I hope Target learns a valuable lesson from this lawsuit and gets their web presence up to the same standards of accessibility they maintain at their stores.

Learn more about accessibility at the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI).

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