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Staying on Target

February 10, 2006
WaSP aiming to Sting Target

A lot can happen in 24 hours.

In the time since yesterday’s post, Taking Aim at Target(.com), the web site has been changed to address at least the image based submit buttons on the Target Pharmacy sign in page. It no longer requires a mouse click to submit the forms.

They literally fixed this overnight. If it took so little time to fix, why now and not ten months ago when the US National Federation of the Blind originally complained to Target?

We have all heard it: “until there’s the threat of legal action, companies just won’t take notice.” It shouldn’t take a law suit and significant press and buzz across the web to motivate people into action. If we rely on law suits from special interest groups and then fix those problems, we don’t do anything for any of the other groups that require accessibility.

So, a small victory, and kudos to Target for making this change. Too bad the alt attributes for the submit buttons on the sign in page are still missing.

Clearly this is a long way from over and we’re all watching with interest.

9 Responses

Comment by Zeerus — Feb 10 2006 @ 11:57 am

good to see they took notice. it seems like once the WaSP steps in anything people take notice quickly. it’s amazing how much influence they have. Hopefully Target will continue moving towards accessibility and fix the rest of the problems on their site too.

Comment by Sean Curran — Feb 10 2006 @ 1:03 pm

I hope the NFB can still sue Target. It isn’t the best way of getting people to comply, but if they sue for a buttload of money companies will start to say, “hey, I better do this standards thing so I don’t get sued as well.” I think this lawsuit has more power than Section 508 ever did.

And, hey, sometimes you gotta take things into your own hands. Bad example, but the RIAA did and their campaign has been successful.

Comment by me — Feb 10 2006 @ 5:43 pm

however, it is still impossible to check out without a mouse: put anything in your cart, proceed to checkout, and try to tab to the “checkout now” button and hit enter. still can’t be done via keyboard

Comment by Derek Featherstone — Feb 10 2006 @ 5:57 pm


however, it is still impossible to check out without a mouse: put anything in your cart, proceed to checkout, and try to tab to the "checkout now" button and hit enter. still can't be done via keyboard

Yes, sadly… hence my statement that they had fixed at least one of the problems with at least one of the pages in question. I didn’t want to go much further than that, but wanted to at least acknowledge the small minute progress that had been made…

Comment by Jonathan Fenocchi — Feb 11 2006 @ 12:17 am

You’ve gotta admit, though, looks a billion times better than They should have sued Walmart. I like Target more than Walmart anyway. Target looks better, and going inside one of their stores doesn’t mean you need to fight to get through the checkout lines or to get the groceries that you need, whereas in Walmart it takes an hour to get a quart of milk.

Comment by goodwitch — Feb 11 2006 @ 5:05 pm

This case will definately help wake some people up! But my biggest question is…how to get them the training and tools they need so they can be transformed into an accessibility advocate. By advocate, I mean, someone who leads by example and is proactive.

Has anyone reached out to them to offer a helping hand?

(Okay…I know they’ve known for 10 months…and they could have fixed these problems…but since they didn’t…that makes me feel like they need help!)

Comment by Christian Montoya — Feb 12 2006 @ 2:22 am

@ goodwitch: I think you are being too nice here. Target has boatloads of money and manpower, it would take them about ten seconds to accessify their site. They could even just sit down with the NFB and get it done.

Comment by goodwitch — Feb 12 2006 @ 7:53 pm

Christian…while you have a point…I personally like to be the one holding the carrot, not the big stick. Obviously they don’t have the right culture or these accessibility issues would have already been addressed by now (at least on the home page!)

I don’t want us to have to play policeman with sites like this…I want to infect them with the webstandards bug so they are self-motivated to do the right thing.

I believe the laws and the lawsuits are the big sticks. And groups like WaSP need to make statements exactly like Featherstone made. And while I’m quite capable of picking up big sticks, I’d wager a margarita that the time is right for a culture change.

Comment by Mike — May 22 2006 @ 8:50 am

Suing a company because you don’t like their website? That’s absurd! This lawsuit is an example of an overly litigious society in general.

Groups like the one that sued Target need to keep in mind that we are dealing with a relatively new technology and already have our hands full just trying to understand its potential and shortcomings while at the same time provide services.

This lawsuit should have been thrown out of court. I’m sure the lawyers made out okay though.