Bring on the Accessibility Lawsuits

Aug 28 2008

Continuing the theme of my previous post, Target has just agreed to pay $6 million in damages to a group of plaintiffs (National Federation of the Blind,) because those disabled users could not shop on the site.

What’s really interesting:

This case wasn’t a  Section 508 compliance issue, as it only applies only to government-funded agencies and their websites.  This class action lawsuit put to test the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, particularly Title III.

The comments about this lawsuit on metafilter are rather interesting, funny, and occasionaly ridiculous.

See Also:

New York Times:
Target Settles Web Suit

San Fransisco Chronicle:
Target will make Web site accessible to blind

2 responses so far

  1. My question has always been, what are college’s liabilities with things like portals? Does everything a college does online HAVE to be accessible, or is it enough to have accessible alternatives (i.e. a phone line or other alternative media way to do things)? Our state guidelines are a little ambiguous, but seem to imply that if it’s a system, and it’s used by people, it has to be accessible, regardless of alternatives.

  2. The section 508 guidelines seem to imply that if it is produced by the school, it must be accessible. This extends beyond just the web (or a portal).

    In Oklahoma, they’ve adopted the section 508 guidelines almost verbatim as state law as well, and where they differ the OK law is more robust. I wrote a draft of some handbooks on the law and what it really meant for those of us trying to follow it.

    Section 508 includes all technology: from web to video to the procurement of software, hardware, telephone equipment, etc.

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