The simplicity of the interface and the availability of the site is a very important part of any site, and it is certain that the inaccessibility and complexity of the interface has a negative impact on the business. But what is worse, inaccessible sites may subject the owner or designer to legal liability.
Internet access for people with disabilities.
Since the transition from textual design to graphic presentation of materials, a problem has arisen for people with disabilities in accessing such resources, especially for people with visual disabilities or limited mobility, who cannot easily use standard computer equipment - mice and keyboards. Moreover, the number of such people is increasing every year, and they are already accustomed to spending money online. And also to use various technologies, such as programs for reading text from pages, facilitating page navigation, ordering goods or using various services. As a result, designers and developers must adhere to certain principles in order to facilitate access by people with disabilities.
In fact, the site created by the "universal" design for both categories of users also benefits ordinary users. As a rule, “universal” sites are easier to use and better structured. But it should be understood that this approach does not limit the work of the designer.
Why accessibility is so important
There are several reasons why it is important to make the site accessible. First, the accessible website expands the market for business opportunities, people with disabilities, like ordinary people, use online stores. Secondly, by creating a universal website at once, you can save a lot on development, avoiding rework later. And thirdly, the creation of universal sites allows you to avoid lawsuits.Although of course it has little to do with Russia, so far
Disability Act and Internet
Fundamental rights related to the accessibility of commercial websites are governed by the Disabled Persons Act (ADA), 42 USC § 12101 trail. Section III of the “Law on Persons with Disabilities” prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in access and equal use of goods, services, benefits, privileges, benefits, or housing in any public accommodation. Discrimination includes both refusal to participate and restrictions in the provision of certain goods or services. Under the "public offering" refers to places that have a commercial effect. The law provides for 12 main categories such as hotels, restaurants, places of entertainment, rental and sale of real estate, domestic services, places of recreation and education. The law also requires reasonable changes to make such places accessible to all.
The Supreme Court of the United States has so far not specifically directed private companies to Section III to bring their sites in line with these requirements. However, the lower federal courts and the Ministry of Justice, which passed the Disability Act, instructs commercial sites to change design. Many large companies, including AOL, Amazon and Target, relied on this directive, deciding to make their sites more accessible.
One of the precedents on this issue is the Carparts Distribution Center, Inc. vs. Automotive Wholesaler's Ass'n of New England, Inc., 1994
At the same time, the case itself was not directly connected with Internet sites, but in the decision of the court the interpretation of “public offering” described in Section III was not limited to a real place. And later another court of appeal ruled on the basis of the Carparts case, in which he gave a more detailed interpretation of Section III:... owner or operator ... A web site or other object (in physical or electronic space) that is in public access cannot restrict persons with disabilities from using all the provided opportunities that are provided to other users ...
Doe v. Mutual of Omaha Ins. Co., 179 F.3d 557, 559 (7th Cir. 1999)
It is worth noting that both cases are not directly related to Internet sites.
However, despite these cases, the issue of the availability of commercial sites for people with disabilities was still open. And the full clarification of the official position was given in the case of the National Federation of the Blind against Target Inc.
In this case, the plaintiff argued that the site target.com, which offers to sell goods and provides information about the services offered at Target stores, was not accessible to people with disabilities and violated the relevant legislation. The defendant, however, requested that the claim be rejected, on the basis that this legislation does not apply to websites. The court rejected this petition due to the fact that the physical stores Target are "public offering".
The court then determined that target.com is a service for physical stores based on transactions and information exchange between the site and the stores. As a result, the court made a logical decision that the site is also a “public offering”, and therefore is regulated by Section III of the Disabled Persons Act.
In this case, for example, another court in the case of Access Now v. Southwest Airlines
came to a different conclusion, without establishing a link between the site and the physical company. However, this circumstance loses all meaning after the publication of the rules proposed by the Ministry of Justice regarding the application of the Disabled Persons Law to the Internet.
On the 20th anniversary of the Disability Act, the Ministry of Justice clearly stated that it must comply with the law to access commercial sites. On April 22, 2010, the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights said that:
The Ministry of Justice has long taken the position that private sites that fall under the definition of “public placement” must meet the requirements of the Disabled Persons Act. In other words, private sites should be fully accessible to people with disabilities.Probably now we should expect the emergence of companies that will be engaged in testing sites among people with disabilities. Although of course our country is less concerned.