Damages of $6M awarded because a website wasn’t accessible using normal screen-reading software.
A US lawsuit case highlighting the issues faced by online retailers in terms of website accessibility has ended in a settlement.
In 2006, a number of visually impaired Californian plaintiffs sued Target after discovering that they could not gain access to the retailer’s website when using traditional screen-reading software.
This week, the case was settled with Target’s promise of a payment of $6 million (£2.7 million) in damages to the plaintiffs involved, as well as plans to improve the accessibility of its website through a partnership with the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), which helped to bring the case to court.
Dr Marc Maurer, president of the NFB, expressed the hope that the case will trigger similar website changes by more online retailers.
Lawyer Julia Pinover of Disability Rights Advocates also said to the San Francisco Chronicle: “We hope that what Target does can be used as an example for other retailers. It can demystify how to become accessible.”
She added that the case emphasised how important the internet can be for those who are unable to travel to physical stores.
Accessible websites can offer a range of benefits for companies, including a high website ranking and lower ongoing maintenance costs, according to software provider Squiz.
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