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Bruce Sexton and the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) tried to persuade Target.com (which is
“powered by amazon.com”) to make its website accessible (you couldn’t navigate it with a keyboard, and missing alt text meant shopping was impossible).
Target refused, so Sexton sued. Target asked the judge to throw it out, on the grounds that there were no laws requiring websites to be accessible.
The NFB reports,
The court held: “the ‘ordinary meaning’ of the ADA’s prohibition against discrimination in the enjoyment of goods, services, facilities or privileges, is that whatever goods or services the place provides, it cannot discriminate on the basis of disability in providing enjoyment of those goods and services.” The court thus rejected Target’s argument that only its physical store locations were covered by the civil rights laws, ruling instead that all services provided by Target, including its Web site, must be accessible to persons with disabilities.
“I hope that I can soon shop online at Target.com just like anyone else,”said UC Berkeley student BJ Sexton, who is a named plaintiff in the lawsuit.“I believe that millions of blind people like me can use the Internet just as easily as do the sighted, if websites are accessible.”
I imagine that a lot of big U.S. retailers will be examining their websites tomorrow …
Related: Outlaw has a proper legal analysis. ‘Cos they’re lawyers. WebAIM write it up.