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Could You Get Sued For Inaccessibility Too?

Could You Get Sued For Inaccessibility Too?

In a leading story for MSNBC, Target is currently being sued for their site which is inaccesible for blind users.  It seems like Target tried to get the suit thrown out because they believed current statutes only apply to physical spaces.  Not so.

John Pare, a spokesman for the NFB, said most Web sites are far easier to navigate than Target’s. In a demonstration of screen-reading software for The Associated Press, Danielsen showed that many links on Target’s side were unintelligible to the Jaws software, and that the final purchase required the use of a mouse, something even the most sophisticated blind Web surfer would have trouble with. However, he was able to navigate other sites and purchased a CD from Amazon.

For pure web plays, however, it seems like there is a way out.

The ADA applies mainly to public places such as restaurants, retailers, movie theaters and health care institutions, explained Kemp, who has long worked on compliance issues related to disabilities, employment and technology … For an electronic retailer such as Amazon.com, which has no physical store, the law is unclear, Kemp said. “There is no well defined policy in this area at all.

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Since this is an evolving area of law, it’ll be important to keep an eye on things.  In the mean time, I guess I’d better up on keeping my own sites up to date with web standards. 

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