There is a lawsuit making it’s way through federal court in California targeting Target for website inaccessibility. The National Federation for the Blind is suing Target Stores for not having alt-text available on their images on the grounds that Target’s site is not accessible to blind users. Target had argued only its physical stores were subject to the Americans With Disabilities Act but the judge denied Targets request for dismissal.
The case is setting precedents for companies being liable for web accessibility. There has been a push within the web development community for a long time to adhere to web standards set by the W3C and other groups and this is one of the first cases to bring the accessibility of a virtual storefront to court.
These days you would think it would be a no-brainer to build this type of accessibility into a site in the development stage, way before go-live. Unfortunately, it seems that there are still quite a few big players that are not enabling accessibility in their sites. As well as making the site available for the blind, accessibility best practices allow a whole lot of increased access to a website – be it by search engines, screen readers or just allowing the site to be rendered correctly in multiple browsers.
Here are a few sites that tackle website usability issues:
- World Wide Web Consortium: Web Accessibility Initiative
- A List Apart
- Section 508: The Road to Accessibility
Read more about the lawsuit:
- Advertising Age: Blind Advocate’s Suit Against Target Allowed to Proceed
- C|NET: Blind patrons sue Target for site inaccessibility
- Wall Street Journal: Target Sued By National Federation of the Blind
And if you want to see some of the worst sites on the web just Google “Welcome to My Webpage.”