WS: NY Wineries Sued.....

Interesting article in the WineSpec about NY State wineries being sued:
over the fact that their WebSites cannot be read by the visually impaired and the blind. Huh?? Is thus nutsiness raised to a whole nuther level?? Hope someone can edumacate me on this issue.

Hey, just because you’re blind doesn’t mean you have no tastebuds - these people need to drink too!

Would not shock me to hear that the law firm went hunting for a client, not the other way around.

Tom–Are you saying you don’t understand WHY Internet sites should be accessible to the blind/visually-impaired? Really?


Seems like computer monitor and smartphone manufacturers are the problem.
Until they make screens braille capable what’s a winery supposed to do?

Nope, Bruce… I can believe that WebSite design can be scaled for the visually impaired. But for the blind??
How about movie marquees, stop lights, street signs for the blind? Just seems like a bit of a stretch.
One of my wine group members has severe macular degeneration. And he badly needed the InterNet to connect
to the outside world. He accomodated. He first had a device that projected his computer screen onto a big TV screen.
Then a device, as vision got worse, to change books & screen to audio. He made do w/o a lawsuit.

I used to run a polling place, and we had a dedicated audio voting booth that would provide visually-impaired/blind voters with
all the ballot information in audio form. And in multiple languages. Those voters were especially pleased that the technology was
available to allow them to vote.

Just because some things are difficult to adapt (movie marquees, to use your example) does NOT mean that we should stop making
information accessible to people with disabilities when the technology exists to do so.


“Alexa, order me some wine from Thirsty Owl”
“Right on it, Susan! mm, could you specify which varieties you would like? The usual?”
“No, it doesn’t matter what color, as we’ll be doing a blind tasting. How about 6 rieslings, 3 cabernet francs, and 3 lembergers.”
“mm,…done. Order in.”

Would it have made sense to sue the individual candidates on the ballot to get that implemented?

actually, refreshable braille displays are already a thing. but the website still has to be able to be accessed by the braille reader in order to transcribe the wording into braille.

typically, the county would be. it is the polling responsibility of the district doing the polling to provide accommodation for the disabled, not those running for office.

ha! i see what you did there.

this is hopefully a clear case of searching for a lawsuit. there is no malicious intent on not providing accessibility here, and it was likely an unknown issue to begin with. it doesnt help the winery to be cutting out a segment of customers who rely on screen reading technology to purchase their wines. hopefully there is some kind of protection from this type of frivolous suit.

It would be pretty strange in this day and age for a web developer to build a site that is not usable by screen reading software. It’s straightforward, easy, and has had a standard methodology for well over a decade, maybe even two.

its also been standard software in all Apple products for at least since the original iPhone. i agree it would be a weird thing to neglect to utilize

And at this point any merchant who does not require ADA compliance in software they purchase or have developed for them is being negligent. It exposes them legally, regardless of what one may think of the motives of the attorneys bringing the suit. It creates an impediment for part of their customer base. And it’s really not that big of a deal for competent developers. If they have a problem complying with ADA, it would really make me wonder how well they handle encryption and security, which are much more difficult.

Apples and oranges. Individual candidates do NOT control how the polling places are run, or what technology is installed. By contrast, anyone designing a website has the tools
available to make their website more user-friendly for people with visual challenges/disabilities. Putting aside whether one thinks companies should be sued over it, I applaud the
actions of any website developer to make their websites available to as many users as possible, regardless of disabilities.


If it’s as easy and standard to comply with, as Julian and Mark state, then I get the point. I was wrongly thinking the ask was beyond reasonable (asking small, independent software developers to take on some herculean task, when the answer was on the customer’s side).

Yeah so Wes, I would say the answer is largely on the customer’s side in that they are the ones that make the effort to utilize screen reading software and/or having unusually large screens so much larger font sizes/zoom can be used. The burden on the developer’s side to connect with these technologies, particularly when it comes to front end web development in this case, is really pretty small in the context of the whole project. Less than 5% if you are competent.

As an example, embedded images are supposed to be given descriptions for screen reading software. So what starts off as , finishes as This is the description of this image..

As I say - easy. When it comes to text and ensuring that’s machine readable…it’s actually easier to code in a standards compliant way than some of the sloppier alternatives.

I’m strongly for accessibility. But in interest of fairness, how old were these websites? I think pretty much all websites established 12+ years ago wouldn’t qualify. The non-profit I run just totally redid our 2000-era website, which I know before didn’t do well mobile, and probably therefore wasn’t really accessible either (never heard a complainr). I think for small businesses a requirement that a complaint be lodged first, with say a 6 mo window to correct, would be fairer than $6K fines for a problem that no one knew existed. If the motivation is truly “make accessible” than “make money for plaintiff and lawyer” that seems reasonable. Hell, they do that for sidewalk issues in NYC, and lawyers till do ok.

In CA, the money maker for some attorneys are the both the state and fed laws with no leeway and automatic fines. Using Google earth, you can locate stores around the state that don’t have properly marked handicapped parking. Send the client with the private investigator and take pics, make an appearance, go inside and see what else is in violation. You can’t fight it. You pay for your attorney, their attorney, all fines and whatever is decided for the inconvenience. A wheelchair bound woman I went to high school with made a fortune between 2002 and 2016. Her attorney made even more. After reading about a couple of suits, I had our handicapped spot repainted. It wasn’t a week later when I got a visit. She never got out of her car, but her passenger did and came in the store carrying an attache case, took a 360 degree turn in the middle of the display room, walked into the humidor and got a $7.00 cigar, paid cash and left. Little doubt in my mind there was a camera in the attache case.

In the old days, this is where your mafia protection money would pay off [wow.gif]