Target’s Accessibility – Not All Bad, Just Mostly Bad

I tried to explain that last post on the PR Disaster forming for Target (TGT) about refusing to make their site accessible. I had difficulty because had to use geek speak. So in an effort to explain in English I ran some accessibility tests on the target site. It is not all bad news, just mostly bad news for target.

The way a screen reader works is it converts a web site to text and then reads it out loud to the person. So this first image (below) was created with the Fangs emulator and shows the words that would be read out loud. (Note – Fangs is not a screen reader, it is a free emulator used by developers). Anyway, see all of those "Link" and "Bullet" words? Those are links that are images that do not have ALT tags. That is bad. And it is easy to fix. Would you want to have a computer say "link bullet link bullet link bullet" to you over and over? Of course not.
Targetfangsreviewtab1

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Target’s PR Disaster Picking on the Little Guy

OK, who handles PR for Target? This public relations train wreck was linked to me by Tim and Jason both after some discussion at Netsquared last night.

Blind Advocate’s Suit Against Target Allowed to Proceed
Group Seeks Right to Sue Retailers Over Website Accessibility
By Mya Frazier

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AdAge.com) — Retailers may soon need to ensure their virtual stores are as accessible to the blind as their physical stores are to wheelchair users.

A lawsuit against Target Stores making its way through a federal court in California has laid the groundwork that gives the blind the right to sue a retailer if its website is not accessible.

this quote from the article says it best

"We felt we had no choice but to bring this lawsuit," Mr. Pare said.
"They argued the law doesn’t say they have to, but that has nothing to
do with whether they should.
Target had billions in profits last year.
They can afford to do this."

For those readers who aren’t technical let me be clear. What Target is
being asked to do is 1) easy and 2) reasonable from a technical
perspective. ALT tags? They are going to the mat against the blind over
ALT tags? Please.