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Accessible Web Podcast: Dan Goldstein

1 Jun 2021

Peter Jewett: Alright looks like we are live. Welcome everybody to the second episode of the Accessible Web Podcast. We are here today, George and I, with Dan Goldstein. Dan was gracious enough to join us. We have had a previous conversation with him and our Accessible Web team and really it was him that spurred on this idea to have a podcast. We had such a great initial discussion we figured man we should really talk to other people who have been in this web accessibility space but really the broader accessibility space. Because at Accessible Web I would still call us a start-up. We have a lot to learn we want to make sure we are doing this right. and so understanding the people and the motivation behind Disability law in this country is really important. So Dan Goldstein was an attorney with the Boston law firm Brown, Goldstein, & Levy until 2017. Dan became involved in the field of Disability Rights nearly 35 years ago at the behest of the National Federation of The Blind. Beginning in 2000 Dan concentrated on the accessibility of digital content and devices including ATMs, voting machines, accessible absentee ballots, websites, e-readers, kiosks, educational software, and technology among others. So thanks Dan for joining us today Dan it is awesome to have you here.

Dan Goldstein: It is my pleasure.

Peter Jewett: So I guess aside from my brief bio tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got involved, how you found yourself, in this space.

Dan Goldstein: Well I started representing the National Federation of the Blind in 1986. And near the end of 1999 the President of the NFB, Mark Maurer, had become concerned with the fact that we were seeing more and more digital devices and digital content in the world. Which he thought should be good news for The Blind because it is zeros and ones. It is not inherently visual, audible, or tactile but can be any one of those three. and he said to me, you know if I buy a new house today I will lose a lot of my independence. I said, “What are you talking about?”. He said well in my old house the thermostat has a dial and in the new house, it will have up and down arrows with a digital display. I won’t be able to set my own temperature. My Stove, and my washer, and my dryer in my house have dials. but if I buy new appliances, they will have up and down arrows and digital displays. I won’t be able to cook my own food or do my own laundry. I want you to do something about that. A task I never completed. but I said well where do you want me to start sir. He said well why don’t you sue Microsoft. I took a deep breath, and said well for starters, just for practice could I start a little smaller. Fine, sue AOL. So we filed the first web suit ever, on accessibility, against AOL at the beginning of 2000. and then we have been off to the races ever since.

Peter Jewett: interesting. It is really interesting, we often think about how powerful digitized text is and how powerful technology is, when implemented correctly to make things accessible so I just remember that first chat with you had and I had never considered the barriers these digital technologies could introduce. In a lot of what we are doing we often say to clients, of all places the web should be the place that is most accessible. It doesn’t have the same barriers of the physical world but it was really interesting to get that perspective that in some circumstances the physical world that tactical, the ability to use other senses that may not be your sense of sight. if that is where you have a disability. It doesn’t unless things are done properly so that was pretty eye-opening to be when you first mentioned it.

Dan Goldstein: Well you know, the fact is that the digital world is still overwhelmingly inaccessible. WebAim has now, I think two years in a row, done an automated study of the 1 million most popular web pages in the world. Just the homepages. and the first year I think it found 98.75% of those homepages had 60 or more accessibility barriers. and I think the next year the number had gone up. and there are areas that in many respects are more serious than the web, harder to attack legally and that is software. and all too often, software is inaccessible if you’re a blind person today and you work for any healthcare organization as a transcriptionist, psychologist, whatever it may be, chances are that your employer uses Epic Software. In which case, chances are you can’t do your job. Google when it designed Android, didn’t think about accessibility. and it took them from 2004 quite some time, I think 6 years, to make Android accessible. and the same thing for Google Docs, except it took them even longer to make that accessible. but the ADA doesn’t let you sue a company that makes inaccessible software.

Peter Jewett: So lets get back to, you know, where did you go from Microsoft. Did you have any success in suing Microsoft?

Dan Goldstein: It was AOL that we sued. We sued AOL and then we negotiated settlements with a number of companies. Amazon was a big one. As we started negotiating with various companies we learned an important lesson. Which is, while it is not hard to have an accessible website, companies do not know how to maintain an accessible website. And, when I started settlements with companies like Amazon and Ebay and so on I would say look, you know how to run your business, we don’t know how to run your business, let us tell you the goal line. Go ask your developers how long it would take to get there, then multiple by two because all developers are optimists. Come back and say this is how long we need and we will write down the agreement. and that was, turned out to be a very foolish way to do this. The company did not understand that it needed infrastructure changes. it needed to train whoever codes on the website on how to be accessible. It needs to institute testing. It needs to make accessibility part of job descriptions and part of job reviews. There has to be somebody at the C level who knows what is going on and knows if it is a success or not a success. So we had after our initial round of lawsuits and settlements, we had to change our approach. and one of the companies who we sued, Target, I think today I think an extraordinary embodiment of infrastructure change and culture change. Everything from their website to how they develop native apps I think, they have done it right. But that really is a critical factor, you can’t just say WCAG 2.1 AA is the standard du jour. You got to help the company understand it needs to change.

George Heake: So Dan, would you agree that it takes more than bulletproof, using Peter’s term from the question, bulletproof WCAG guidelines or it takes just as much user interface testing?

Dan Goldstein: Well testing is absolutely critical. I remember at one of our meetings with Amazon, Anne Taylor, who was with the National Federation of The Blind, she is now is with Microsoft. Anne is a blind woman and she was in a room with 40 Amazon Employees each of them had a console in front of them. And well she said the first thing we are going to do is turn off the screens, and then we are going to look at the website. Everybody panicked. You know, how are we going to tell anything about the website if we can’t look at it? So you need users who that’s how they do things. They use the computer without looking at it.

George Heake: Yeah, that’s a really important point. Along that line of thought, if and when, WCAG guidelines get folded into the ADA what else is going to be needed to make it more universal? Because we know just because its law, that’s not going to solve anything. What needs to be added to that to make it successful after 30 or 40 years?

Dan Goldstein: Well, I wish I knew the answer to that. Because look, I’ve litigated these cases for 17 years and then at the end of that WaveAim told me I had maybe affected .025% or 1.25% of the most popular million websites. So obviously, litigation is not the answer. Part of it is effectively making the business case, understanding, having the company understand they are losing business when they are inaccessible. Not just to the blind, because the blind are not the biggest users of screen reader software. The dyslexic community is and they are huge. It’s not just them. It folks who can’t use their hands. That’s who can for whatever reason cannot use a mouse. They need something else, voice command. This is now a big part of our population. And it is a growing part of our population. Maybe not the injured vets, but we are outliving our eyes and ears. And diabetes is a big deal in this country. And it will continue to be a big deal in this country. That means more loss of sight, more loss of being able to feel your fingertips. So the business case I think is very strong. I’m told by people like you, I don’t have the technical knowledge, that websites that are accessible are also more user-friendly to users without disabilities and don’t break as often. So, this should be like trying to sell steaks at two cents a pound.

Peter Jewett: We often try to get this across in our sales calls, and we have the benefit that most of our customers are coming to us with an interest in doing this. So were not banging on doors trying to convince people this is the right thing to do. We’ve created a good brand and I think a good company and a lot of people are coming to us for help. But one of the big things is you can’t think about this as this expense for “those people”. You know that people seem to have in their head that we are only doing this for users that might be blind and using a screen reader. They look around on Church Street here in Burlington, Vermont and you know in a given day you see a handful of people with a cane and glasses and that’s what they think they are designed for this very small subset. You know we really try to get across, this is for everybody. We are all just temporarily abled. I like your “outlive our ears and eyes”. You know if any one of us lives long enough we will most certainly have some form of disability. You know, its for, you know if we design for universal design and design for everybody. Those curb cuts that help the people with wheelchairs and were mandated for wheelchairs. They help the UPS guy get packages up on the sidewalk. They help a parent with a stroller. They help everyone so. If we can really implement these best practices. You know there is 20% of the population that lives with a disability and most disabilities aren’t obvious. Someone with dyslexia you don’t know when walking past them on the street or even having a conversation with them in a restaurant. But they are there. And if we really do this right it isn’t just those 20%, it’s every one it benefits.

Dan Goldstein: Well that is right. It even gives birth to new conveniences for everyone. For example, You two are probably too young to remember when suitcases never had wheels. But they didn’t use to have wheels. It was only after the Federal government mandated ramps in airports and train stations. Then all of a sudden we had this new thing. These suitcases had a handle that pulled up and wheels on the bottom and it was fabulous. We could also use it walking down the sidewalk from the office and you know, so on and so forth. That didn’t used to exist. And accessibility gave birth to an industry that benefits all of us whether we have a disability or not. It probably wasn’t good for bellhops.

George Heake: Yeah I saw a poster this morning. We were looking for artwork for a new space and the poster said, “If you think the wheel was a good idea, you’ll love the ramp” and there were some cartoon characters. Kind of got the message across especially being from a city and such.

Dan Goldstein: You Know the idea of accommodations is a very majoritarian idea, what I mean by that is, The National Federation of The Blind at its headquarters spends, huge amounts of money to accommodate me, you George and Pete. Because they have lights! And they pay a huge lighting bill. And it doesn’t do them any good whatsoever. My former law firm partner, who is a wheelchair user accommodates me by having a chair in his office.

Peter Jewett: Yeah. Yup. Yeah fair enough. So lets try to keep focused on some legal stuff while we have you. I know we could talk all day about general accessibility but I want to give our listeners an opportunity to hear some of your war stories. So when we’re doing sales calls with a customer or I’m doing a webinar on ADA compliance my timeline of, you know, why did your website need to be accessible per the law usually starts with Target. So what was different about Target? You know what changed in your approach? From a legal perspective with Target and moving after Target compared to those earlier cases, you mentioned before?

Dan Goldstein: Well, that’s an interesting story and let me start at the end and then work backward. So if you had a website, and people who live in New England, anywhere in New England, Then or anywhere from also in the midwest, around Chicago, Indiana etcetera, You can be sued if your website is not accessible because the courts in those jurisdictions have decided that the requirement of accessibility does not require any physical space. And that really shouldn’t be an argument because a travel service that only exists over the phone. You know you don’t go into the office. That’s covered by the ADA. There’s no question about it. But in some parts of the country, and California Federal Courts are part of it, Oh, they think that websites are not covered. Because they only exist online and of course that’s not true either. There’s a closet somewhere with a bunch of servers, right? Target is interesting because everyone sees it as this great victory. The fact of the matter is that the suit was started by some very good lawyers in California. If I’d had my brothers we would have sued Target in Massachusetts. But I did not have my brothers. And so Target was actually not a great win. What the judge said in Target was If the service is associated with the store, the physical stores, like ordering a prescription online from Target, that you’re going to pick up at the store. Or you want to see if something is in stock, at that particular store near you. That’s covered by the ADA. But if it’s something where you go on the website and you order it online and it’s delivered to your home and you’re never going into the store, that’s not covered. I was astonished when the world saw this as a great victory. Oh, that was going to help make websites accessible. In the meantime, every time we got a case in Vermont, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, to establish that they needed to fix their website, everybody settled. It became very difficult to get any case law. Support the idea that websites are covered under the ADA. We got a big victory in a lawsuit in Vermont. Against a website called scribbed or scribed I’m not sure quite how to pronounce it. Where the judge wrote a fabulous opinion explaining why websites are covered.

Peter Jewett: So Dan what you’re saying case law, what you’re saying is that someone actually needs to fight this in court and get a judge to make the opinion. because all these settlements they just go away and its over?

Dan Goldstein: Right.

Peter Jewett: The Target case is at the beginning of the timeline that I’ve always learned about because that was the initial case that set the legal precedent with the judge’s decision.

Dan Goldstein: Correct and unfortunately, we have gotten this mill of lawyers who do, for lack of a better term many call, drive-by website lawsuits. Who file these lawsuits with every intention of settling. And every once in a while, a defendant says, hey these schmucks aren’t prepared. Let’s tell them we’re not going to settle because that one thing about websites, is that it’s far cheaper to make it accessible than to pay a lawyer. There is no comparison. We never could figure out why Target fought us. Walmart’s website has always been accessible. Because they want everyone’s business and they don’t care if you’re blind or not. And I used to drive the people at Target crazy by saying but you know, Walmart can do this.


Dan Goldstein: But just to give you an example of the kind of disaster. Some folks decided to sue Southwest Airlines I think it was in Alabama or Mississippi or some very hostile state. For an inaccessible website. Now, they could have won that case without making any law simply by arguing that is a service of the physical Southwest Airlines. You’re ordering the ticket that you’re going to go and use at the airport to get on the Southwest Airplanes. That under the most traditional view of the ADA is covered. They never argued it, and it was another case in the lost column.

Peter Jewett: So then, I guess if I follow my PowerPoint timeline. The next case was Netflix. So what was it about Netflix that kind of expanded the legal precedent?

Dan Goldstein: Well, first of all, I should explain Netflix was not my case. My contribution to Netflix was recommending a lawyer in Boston as the local council for the Disability Right Education defense fund. What was big about Netflix was that, as I said before, it was clear the case law should be in New England, what is called the first circuit. That websites are covered. And the plaintiffs in Netflix were able to get the judge to say that. And I was nervous to be candid with you, that there was going to be an argument that was Netflix had to be accessible but that didn’t apply to its contents. You have to be able to get into a bookstore. It doesn’t mean they have to send you braille books. But happily, that didn’t come up. And we got audio captioning and we got closed captioning on these films.

George Heake: Now how does that compare, because I know HathiTrust now that sounds like a bigger success. Because I know it means a lot to you, could you explain that further?

Dan Goldstein: Sure. So at one point, Google decided that it wanted to also have all the knowledge in the libraries on Google. And it started negotiation with initially, the University of Michigan, but what ultimately became last I knew somewhere around 25 university libraries. It is probably more now. To digitize that work. So we told google, look, you’re gonna want to make it accessible and they said we’re not interested. And that seemed bizarre to us because if you want to be able to do a data search of a book, you have to OCR it, you have to do optical character recognition. And if you OCR it and you add in some metadata, that’s going to be helpful. Like this is a page number. This is a footnote number. This is a chapter number. It’s going to be useful to sighted people. And we ultimately had to start going to universities and saying really? You’re going to make a deal with Google where you’re going to get back a digital copy that’s not accessible? And you know, University Librarians are all about access to information, they were appalled. So ultimate google said can we talk. And they created over 15 million accessible digital books. And imagine being blind and all of a sudden all the accumulated lore and knowledge and imagination of the world is available to you. With no regard to your disability. But the author’s guild was heavily bent out of shape. And said this is a massive copyright violation. And they sued the universities. And so we intervened as the defendant that is to say us The National Federation of the Blind, so some blind scholars. And we said that making books accessible is fair use. Just like using a book to do a satire or parody or a book review or whatever is fair use, and the court said, you’re right. I’m not sure quite of the current status, but a system was being set up so that anyone who is blind whether they are a scholar or not, an adult, or a child can access this amazing collection.

George Heake: A sunrise of knowledge for sure. Now how does that fit in with our first meeting, in a discussion you suggested that we should look into the Epub standard of accessibility. How does that fit in with education nowadays and the importance of it?

Dan Goldstein: Well, I mean that’s one of the brightest Horizons is that all of the major publishers, who are all members of something called the international digital publishing forum have agreed to use accessible ePub3 in their publications. So that means going forward that the major publishers will be producing books that are accessible as they are published.

George Heake: That is fantastic. And I’m learning so much being in that workgroup with George. Now you mentioned OCR which made me quickly think of a software company that we are both very familiar with, Adobe. And how they’ve come and gone with skirmishes especially with the blind community. How do you view that journey? And you’ve talked to people who are involved at Adobe so how would you use that as a model for other companies to follow and get accessible or that they should have done it better or because I know just within the last three years, three or five, it seems like they’ve made some ground.

Dan Goldstein: I think that’s a hard question for me to answer because I haven’t seen Adobe from the inside. There have always been some people at Adobe, like Andrew Kirkpatrick, who were committed fully to accessibility. My guess is, that what happened three or four years ago there was some changing of the guard at c level and all of a sudden, he had top-level support. Because we have seen huge accessibility changes at Adobe. It has been interesting to watch with Pearson. They’ve gone from having created a whole bunch of flash textbooks that were completely inaccessible, to stating to make things accessible, to losing almost every accessibility person in the company, to making a giant push now. And from what I’m told fairly successful push, to accessibility. and I think a big part of it is if you don’t have the support at the top, you can’t do it. Not in the big corporations anyway.

George Heake: Yeah I had a good fortune of backfilling in for accessibility analysts at McGraw Hill and that was the biggest difference because it came from the top-down. Developers to marketing to senior leadership. It was just the corporate culture, it just had to be international. That was the standard in Canada. They went by their guidelines, UK, ETC. But it was the first place in my career that I thought oh wow this is how it’s done. And I’ve never seen a developer group until Accessible Web that just gets it. It was really refreshing and that really kind of pushed me to find out more answers about accessibility. Now you were, you started as a federal prosecutor, differences between or similarities between federal prosecutor and a disability lawyer fighting the windmills for accessibility?

Dan Goldstein: Yeah, yeah. You know I started as Goliath before I became David. You know, at a very young age. You know standing up to a jury and saying my name is Daniel Goldstein. I represent the United States of America. That guy over there represents the scumbag. I never quite said that but you know, that was the implication. And then all of a sudden I’m trying to get Apple and Amazon and all sorts of folks to do the right thing. The training as a prosecutor made me very comfortable with being in the courtroom and crafting legal arguments and organizing the big cases. And for me, the big turning point was coming to understand through the NFB that disability rights is part of civil rights. Something that is still not widely accepted.

Peter Jewett: Where would you want to see accessibility in the coming years? You know one of our big things is when can we finally get the ADA to formally apply to websites instead of these you know, call them drive-by lawyers, call them trolls, call them extortionists, right? We hear our clients say a lot of things.

Dan Goldstein: Oh sure.

Peter Jewett: How it currently is and you know we try to make, we try to spin it positively because, you know, the carrot is better than the stick I guess. But when we started this business you know the seed was kind of planted in 2016-ish. Obama was still president and we were hoping the ADA would be amended but that never happened with the previous administration. So I mean where would you want to see, where do you predict the accessibility law in the US is going? Do you think it’ll get to a point where someone can stand up and represent the US government and be, you know, pushing accessibility onto these businesses?

Dan Goldstein: Well I should say I mean DOJ under Obama was active and joined me in web accessibility lawsuits. H&R Block in particular, was the case of the United States of America and the National Federation of the Blind vs H&R Block. Over the income tax website, being able to use that to do your taxes. The two big changes I would like to see DOJ issue regulation. That explicitly states that websites are covered. We were 97% of the way there under Obama and I’ve been told indirectly that Valerie Jarrett killed it. I don’t know if that’s true or not. but it went over to OMB from the Department of Justice and never emerged.

Peter Jewett: What is OMB?

Dan Goldstein: Office of Budget and Management. Even the DOJ if proposing a new regulation, it’s got to go through the office of management and budget. The second thing I would really like to see, although it’ll slowly put you guys out of business, I think, that those who offer authoring tools for websites, Should be held liable if those tools do not enable the user to make an accessible website. Or don’t facilitate it. I mean you look at small businesses and they go online. I got to build the website for my new business. Oh okay Here’s Wix. Here is GoDaddy. They look cheap and easy for a non-technical person. And the poor bakery owner doesn’t know that they just made a choice to be inaccessible. And if the authoring tool software folks knew that they were exposed to liability, it would be very hard to put up an image without an ALT tag in building the website.

George Heake: And Dan and I were discussing this yesterday and I was bringing up that one of the first programs, I believe made that a requirement is Dreamweaver, which is Adobe now. but it was under macromedia, had accessibility tools that you had to turn on. So when you inserted an image it would prompt you to put in an ALT tag. but it wasn’t required. And most of the developers that I taught or ran into weren’t even aware of that. They didn’t really publicize. and that’s an interest that I have and why I think outreach, community outreach is important not to solve the accessibility but to make people understand that. This the dyslexic populations are a bigger user of screen readers. And I would venture to say, most people aren’t aware of screen readers. And we were discussing this morning, about some community projects. And I mentioned, I heard this from someone from FEMA. There’s a reason why most of us know what to do when our clothes catch on fire. Stop drop and roll. Why? Because we were taught in school. and my big thing is why don’t we just set a flyer that we’re having a presentation of the screen reader, a person using a screen reader and send that home with a third grader and guarantee We’ll probably get some feedback from parents or awareness and kind of get the community more involved of how people use them because I’m always amazed that people aren’t aware. It’s not out of malice or I don’t care about disability. It’s out of ignorance or not being exposed to it. And until I mean, we’re gradually seeing it now in the mainstream advertisement. First came you know, diversity. Now you’ve seen more wheelchairs and people with canes, but it’s going extremely slow. And I just think is there things that we can do in the community that would wind of build this awareness or help get the word out?

Dan Goldstein: That’s a great question. Let me just say first that I think there are probably folks who are using screen reader software who don’t know that they are. I’m thinking of VoiceOver, Apple Products. That was designed entirely as screen reader software and yet it’s used, I think, by many people, I’m not a Mac user but I think it’s used by many people in the population at large. The iPhone is what you’ll see most blind people using because it is so accessible. Android is catching up kind of. I, you know, the big issue. The big way to create, more of a sense, is, to somehow help the community, the business community, understand that disabled doesn’t mean less able. and that’s still the biggest barrier. I’m going to be doing this for somebody out of charity because they are inferior to me. That is still the perception. And somehow it seems that knowing that Stephen Hawking is smarter than the three of us combined, doesn’t seem to change that. Or that there are Paralympians who can do absolutely everything athletically ten times better than we can. Changing that social presumption, I don’t know how that’s to be done, but we’re not going to get there until that happens.

Peter Jewett: I think that’s the nice thing about, you know, what’s happening now with diversity, equity, and inclusion. Kind of, it’s, you know, knock on wood, but hopefully, it’s here to stay. Hopefully, the pendulum has swung left and it kind of stays left because I think that’s, you know, it’s been just remarkable over the last couple of years to see how many people are coming to us for the right reasons, you know, we structured this business when we were first starting it up, when I first had the idea to do this I was thinking, you know, like let’s put a nice positive spin on avoiding lawsuits. The clients we want to work with are the ones that are coming to us and they’re saying look here’s the six pillars of our company and one of them is diversity, equity, and inclusion and we want to make sure our tools are accessible to everybody. You know they’re generally doing it for the right reason. And so yeah I totally get that. There’s a, you know, there’s a world where I hope we put ourselves out of business. I saw this all the time you know? We look at it like this. A lot is the same as when mobile phones came on the scene and there there was this new technology that came on the scene, and that’s not to say web accessibility is new but, it is new to a lot of web developers and it is new to a lot of teams. There’s groups that, you know, companies can choose to use, Accessibe, AudioEye, or these overlay solutions or some kind of tools on the screen that don’t generally do anything for users with disabilities. It’s a veneer of accessibility. There’s companies that want to do it right and they’re coming to us and we’re finding that there’s a huge amount of business out there with those companies that are oriented properly and that are doing it for the right reasons. It’s not even really about seeing the value, right? Like the value is good and it should be a secondary goal, but it’s about, you know, social responsibility and just being a good business owner so. I don’t know, hopefully it’s here to stay and I guess we say a lot too, like, we are all holding each other accountable. We see a lot of you know, a lot of customers from JP Morgan. I’m a big Bernie Sanders guy, right? Like I don’t know, I don’t love big banks and JP Morgan but it’s remarkable how many companies have come to us because JP Morgan is requiring web accessibility. In different RFPs and different projects. JP Morgan is a huge company. They’re holding the coin purse in this country in a lot of ways and when they require it everybody’s running towards it. And you know, we often say look this is if we work with a bank in their online banking in accessibility, you know, hold them accountable. Tell them that we’ve put up an accessibility statement on our website. That says our website is WCAG 2.1 AA conforming and we’ve done all this testing and you know, we we’ve done all this testing and, you know, we’ve made our platform accessible and now you the online banking company should make it accessible as well. It’s an exciting time and you know, I think we can get the, you know, hopefully, the ADA gets amended or changed, whatever the proper term is.

Dan Goldstein: Just needs a new regulation.

Peter Jewett: Just needs a new regulation, right? And then everyone can kind of get on board with this and have some clarity.

Dan Goldstein: Well Pete, I think one of the hopeful signs is also a capitalist one. And that is that one of your competitors, that I will not name, was acquired by a publicly-traded company. And that is a sign the commercial world is coming to recognize that accessibility, digital accessibility is here to stay.

Peter Jewett: Absolutely. All right well, we’re kind of at the hour here. Got a few housekeeping things to do. So every podcast episode, we’re giving away accessible web t-shirts to one of our followers on Facebook, and one of our followers on LinkedIn. So we’d encourage anyone out there listening to follow us on either of those channels. Tune in for more posts and more podcasts and you know, just general web accessibility content and of course, get in touch if you want to upgrade your website or web application or just want to, you know, do a consultation around digital accessibility. But today our winners, our Facebook winner is Nate Ginsbury. So Nate if you’re listening get in touch, otherwise we will track you down get you a t-shirt hell or high water. and then on LinkedIn, our winner is Gabrielle Padriga. So yeah, thanks for following us and we’ll be in touch to get you both t-shirts.

Dan Goldstein: A benny they don’t give their guests.

Peter Jewett: You’ll get a t-shirt too. We just had a fresh run printed. it was supposed to come in your podcast kit but it didn’t quite arrive on time.

George Heake: You’re at the top of the list Dan.

Peter Jewett: Yup you’ll get one too. Last episode was our pilot where George and I just talked to each other.

George Heake: and had no problem doing it.

Peter Jewett: and then this was our first podcast with a real guest so we certainly appreciate, first and foremost, we appreciate all the work you’ve done in the space and it was, it blew my mind when you got in touch a few months ago and mentioned your background in accessibility law. I mean, it literally just blew my mind that I was talking to you. I’m surprised I made it through the call. But on top of that, you know, we appreciate all the work you’ve done in this space. We appreciate this landmark, you know, the law that you’ve helped create and everything you’ve done. for the Disabled community in the US and then I guess, secondarily on a much smaller level, we appreciate you joining us today.

Dan Goldstein: My Pleasure.

George Heake: and I just wanted to say, I mentioned this to you before our first meeting together, I was so excited afterward. And I said we need to do this and I’m thrilled that you were able to be our inaugural guest. So I think you started a long line of some good guests.

Dan Goldstein: I look forward to hearing those podcasts.

Peter Jewett: George, do you know who our next guest is?

George Heake: I believe it is Karl Horvath, head of the College Consortium. Bill Walsh, who you might know Dan, from formerly of DOJ Disability Rights Group, he’s now with HUD. He’s onboard but he has a lot of interesting talk about that same period. And Dan Heller and Kay Chido from Deaflink. We have some so it should be a good addition. But I think you’ve raised a bar for all of them, and also thank your wife for letting you use her log on.

Peter Jewett: Alright, thanks all. Talk soon.

The Accessible Web Podcast is excited to announce our first guest. Dan Goldstein, a prominent civil rights attorney from Baltimore, has played a crucial role in the push for increased accessibility. During his time as counsel for the National Federation of The Blind, Goldstein fought to ensure the Americans With Disabilities Act applied to the digital world. In one of his more publicized cases, Goldstein filed a lawsuit in 2006 against Target. Target’s website had been inaccessible to users who are blind. As a result of this case, not only is Target’s website more accessible but the case further enforces the precedent that large organizations must have an accessible website.

The inspiration for this podcast stemmed from a previous conversation between Goldstein and the Accessible Web team. With this in mind, we thought it was fitting to feature Goldstein as our first guest. His dedication to promoting a future where accessibility in the digital world is a legal necessity hits close to the Accessible Web mission. Our goal is to ensure all users regardless of differing abilities can access the web.

This podcast will stream live on Facebook Thursday, June 3rd, 2021 at 4 pm EST. Can’t make the live recording? Check back on this page for the recording to catch up on what you missed. Captions and a transcript will be available. If you have a request for another accessible format please contact Abby Scott, our podcast’s producer, at [email protected].