1 Votes | Average: 1 out of 51 Votes | Average: 1 out of 51 Votes | Average: 1 out of 51 Votes | Average: 1 out of 51 Votes | Average: 1 out of 5 (1 votes, average: 1 out of 5) Loading ... Loading ...

by Mike Zazaian September 10, 2006 - 10:15pm, 3 Comments

Target Sued Over Website by Blind Cal-Berk Student

The President of the California Association for Blind Students has sued Target for its website’s unfriendliness to blind and disabled consumers.

There are a number of means by which blind web surfers can navigate the web. They can use either a speak-and-spell sort of voice reading content from the page, or, for the not completely blind, screen readers that enhance fonts to many times their size. Both of these message read website images by use of the “alt” tag, short for alternative, which displays a short caption about the image when the user can’t view it for any reason.

Bruce Sexton Jr., a student at the University of California, Berkeley and President of the California Association for Blind Students, has continued efforts to sue everything-retailer target over its website’s lack of blind-user support.

The lawsuit, National Federation of the Blind v. Target, was filed under class-action status in cooperation with the National Federation for the Blind. The suit continued in full strength last week as Judge Marilyn Hall Patel ruled that retailers can be sued if their sites are not accessible to the blind, just as they could be if their physical stores or business places were not disabled-accessible. Patel said of the case:

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.

I guess the lesson to learn here is don’t neglect those “alt” tags. Not only are they illegal not to include on a business website, but they’re helpful for web browsers, and important for improving a website’s search engine visibility.

[via Ars Technica]