Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Cali drops the accessibility bomb

The National Federation for the Blind has sued Target because of its website, which does not meet web accessibility standards and is thus impossible for the blind to use. Now a district judge has ruled that the case is eligible for class-action status. One possible consequence:
There is some suggestion from the court case that accessibility may also be required under the Americans with Disabilities Act as well, meaning that although the ruling is currently focused on California law, it could extend to the rest of the United States.
I have mixed feelings. On one side, it's really, really important to ensure that websites are accessible to all users, which means taking standards and adaptive technology seriously. On the other hand, extending the ruling too broadly may put the brakes on web-based innovation, anchoring web development too tightly to current standards and current (often flawed) adaptive technologies.

Websites May Require Visually Impaired Access In California

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