Ignorance and inspiration

The topic of accessibility on the Web is, for any professional developer, an important topic. While there are differing degrees of knowledge and experience when it comes to Web accessibility, I was under the impression that it is generally acknowledged as being a good thing.

Then the Target lawsuit came along. The overwhelming response was from ignorant, ill-informed people was that this was a frivolous lawsuit—an example of political correctness gone mad. What really depressed me was reading those opinions in the Sitepoint forum, the kind of place where you would expect Web professionals to congregate. Ignorance and greed were the order of the day:

If they where blind then why would they be on the computer?

I highly doubt that a blind person would ever try to purchase something from the internet WITHOUT the help of another human being.

How is an ATL-text going to be usfull so someone that cant see it? [sic]

Depressing stuff. Now that the Target case is going ahead as a class-action lawsuit, it’s back on the radar. Techcrunch picked up the story and has spawned some unbelievably FUD-laden comments:

Thats just stupid…whats next Driver licenses for the blind?

This is just another example of the needs of the one — no matter how ridiculous those so-called needs — will become a burden for the many.

How Selfish. Instead of re inventing the wheel, all they have to do is ask a friend or family member to help them.

Oh, and something which I would like to know, since a few people mentioned eCommerce — How does a blind person read their account number on a credit card?

As well as confirming my suspicions about the kind of pond scum who choose to frequent TechCrunch, those comments made me depressed all over again.

But wait… Roger rides to the rescue with videos of people using assistive technology—a timely reminder of just how empowering technology can be.

There’s a series of videos on the AssistWare site. They’re all worth checking out if, like me, you want to dispel TechCrunch’s whingers and moaners and listen instead to the inspiring stories of people getting on with it:

These stories remind me of the transformative power of technology. They also serve up a nice big dollop of perspective. Frankly, keeping websites accessible is one of the easiest ways to help improve the world a little bit every day. If that’s asking too much of the SitePointers and TechCrunchers, then they really have no good reason to build websites in the first place.

Have you published a response to this? :

Previously on this day

16 years ago I wrote Frank Black, I presume

I went to see Frank Black in concert last night.

16 years ago I wrote The Matrix Rewound

Because I enjoyed it so much when I saw it in the cinema, I made sure to snap up a copy of The Matrix Reloaded when it came out on DVD a few days back.

17 years ago I wrote Opera Software

Following close on the heels of Wired News, another site has switched over to a valid XHTML/CSS layout.

18 years ago I wrote Memories of Maryland

For your viewing pleasure: a gallery of photos from Maryland.

18 years ago I wrote MSN Tech Support

There has been a discussion lately on the Webdesign-L mailing list about the sorry state of customer support these days.

18 years ago I wrote A Call to the Muslims of the World

This is a difficult time for Muslims. How do you seperate your religion from the acts committed in its name?