Monday, September 11, 2006

ADA Applies to Websites, Patel Rules

In a decision with potentially far-reaching impact on website developers and owners, Judge Marilyn Hall Patel denied defendant Target Corporation’s Motion to Dismiss a lawsuit filed by the National Federation of the Blind and others alleging that the website violated regulations promulgated under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") by failing to offer full accessibility to site features and benefits to persons with vision impairment. Target had attempted to argue that the ADA did not apply to "nonphysical spaces" such as websites, but Judge Patel ruled that "to the extent that plaintiffs allege that the inaccessibility of impedes the full and equal enjoyment of goods and services offered in [brick and mortar] Target stores, the plaintiffs state a claim."

The decision has obvious implications to website owners and developers, who should now add the ADA to their checklist of things to consider when designing and operating a site.

See National Federation of the Blind, et al., v. Target Corporation, Memorandum & Order Re: Defendant's Motion to Dismiss, No. C 06-01802 MHP (ND Cal., September 5, 2006)


Blogger Christopher said...

When I worked on websites at Boise State University several years ago, we were always supposed to follow ADA guidelines for web development. Thus, I am a bit surprised to hear that Target argued they did not know this?

1:35 PM  

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