Academic journal article Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

Class-Action Lawsuit Brought against Target

Academic journal article Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

Class-Action Lawsuit Brought against Target

Article excerpt

On October 2nd, Judge Marilyn Patel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California certified a class-action lawsuit against Minneapolis-based Target Corporation brought by plaintiffs claiming the retailer's web site is inaccessible to people who are blind, according to court documents. The National Federation of the Blind filed the suit in February 2006 on behalf of federation member and northern California resident Bruce Sexton. The suit, which is based on the provision of equal access guaranteed by the Americans with Disabilities Act, alleges that Target does not allow individuals who are blind full and equal access to Target stores because it is not possible for people with visual impairments to obtain online product and sales information. The class-action status of the ruling allows other individuals who are blind to join collectively in the lawsuit. In a statement following the ruling, Marc Maurer, president of the National Federation of the Blind, said:

   This is a tremendous step forward for
   blind people throughout the country
   who for too long have been denied
   equal access to the Internet economy.
   All e-commerce businesses
   should take note of this decision and
   immediately take steps to open their
   doors to the blind.

According to the National Federation of the Blind, the web sites of many other retailers have been made accessible to shoppers who use screen reading software to access the Internet. "Wal-Mart ... is accessible, so there is no question that [Target's] web site can be accessible," said John Pare, executive director for strategic initiatives at the National Federation of the Blind. …

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