The ADA Meets Cyberspace

BNA is covering the recent district court ruling that Target can be sued if its website is inaccessible to the blind:

In this class action suit—brought by the National Federation of the Blind (NFB)—the Court rejected Target’s argument that only physical stores were covered by anti-discrimination laws, ruling instead that certain aspects of Target’s virtual space—— are subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and California state law.

NFB and University of California Berkeley blind student Bruce Sexton brought the lawsuit, contending that Target’s website violates the ADA as well as California anti-discrimination laws by failing to include, among other things, “alt-text”—which screen readers use to vocalize a description of an image to a blind computer user. The plaintiffs allege that these and other access barriers prevent blind customers from purchasing products online, locating retail stores, refilling prescriptions, or printing coupons to redeem at stores.

Target argued that the plaintiffs’ case should be dismissed, but the Court disagreed, saying that anti-discrimination laws do apply to websites such as

You can also find Laura Parker’s USA Today story on the lawsuit (re-published on the Arizona Republic‘s website) here.