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Target Lawsuit Ends with $6 million Settlement

Target to make Web site accessible to blind in $6 million settlement

1:32 am on Aug 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from CA 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member encyclo is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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Article [sfgate.com]:
The Target retail chain will make its Web site accessible to the blind and pay $6 million to visually impaired Californians who have tried unsuccessfully to use the site, under a settlement announced Wednesday.

The company must now equip its Web site, www.target.com, with an embedded code that can be read by software to provide a vocal description of the page, and links that allow a blind person to navigate the screen with a keyboard instead of a mouse.

Analysis by WebAIM [webaim.org]:

# Target makes no admission or concession that its website is or ever was inaccessible.
# Target admits no violations of the ADA or any other law.
# The website will be brought into compliance with the Target Online Assistive Technology Guidelines.
# Target will pay NFB $90,000 for the certification and first year of monitoring and then $40,000 per year thereafter.
# Targetís web developers will receive at least one day of accessibility training, to be provided by NFB at a cost of up to $15,000 per session.
# Target will respond to accessibility complaints from web site users.
# Target will pay damages of $6,000,000 to the class action claimants, or at most $7000 per claimant, and will pay $20,000 to the California Center for the Blind on behalf of the primary claimant, Bruce Sexton, Jr.

Final settlement details here:

Previous threads:

  • Judge Certifies Class Action Lawsuit For Website Inaccessible To The Blind [webmasterworld.com]
  • Blind Student Sues Site Owner Claiming Civil-Rights Violations Over Alt Text [webmasterworld.com]
  • Federal Judge Sustains Discrimination Claims Against Target.com website [webmasterworld.com]
  • Group Sues to Make Online Retailers Answer to the Blind [webmasterworld.com]
  • 3:14 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

    Senior Member from US 

    WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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    If you limit yourself to thinking about it only in visual terms you will be missing a lot of its power.

    Not to mention all that other trivial stuff that may assist in helping websites perform better from a search perspective.

    But, we know the mantra. If you can't see it, so what.

    And, no one has proven that those elements or attributes have any value. < Ya sure. > It just cost Target $6,000,000 and some change. I'd say there was some value there.

    Have you learned anything from this lawsuit and others that are similar?

    3:22 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

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    Thank you, thank you, for providing SPECIFICS of the case. Lawsuits live or die on the specifics.

    I've been recently going back and forth with some of the Firefox development guys about infringement issues related to the CSS @font-face rule when implemented to link directly to TTF and OTF files.
    Same thing. Everybody's got a legal analysis without doing so much as one dagnabbed second of research and really looking into the details of the case.
    Newsflash: Court decisions are mostly available online, and they aren't written in "legalese" - they're not contracts, they're decisions and for the most part, they are well-written and quite easy for non-lawyers to understand.

    Lawyers are always money-grubbing lowlifes until something happens to YOU and they're out grubbing up money for YOU.

    I personally have been on both the sending and receiving end of lawsuits and I think that makes it a bit easier for me to see both sides.

    My knee jerks both ways.

    3:40 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

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    Nobody forced the guy to take it to the next level. And unless you're my mother, shopping at target isn't a life or death necessity.

    Oh I see so you are one of those guys who will just bend over and let some corporation give it to you and your friends. I guess you can't understand the frustration he would have felt being told he wasn't worthy to shop on their online store. I was have been furious and highly motivated to "stick it to them" at that point.

    I'd say "no, unless you're going to pay me $100/hour for the time involved."

    Well I guess that is the difference between us and is why we don't agree. I wouldn't tell my customer to pay me to make my website work for their browser.

    You aren't willing to put in the effort of what would be no more then 10-20 hours of work to make it so the visually impaired could use your site? Why? Are you lazy? Or is it that you have some issue with blind people? Did a someone with bad vision walk into by mistake once or something?

    Perhaps when you are 80 and your eye sight gets really bad you will rethink what you are saying here.

    4:26 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)


    WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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    Why? Are you lazy?

    No, it's because he's doesn't yet recognize the payback for doing such work.

    Once he grasps the relationship between accessibility strategies and better SEO, I bet he'll be keen to learn everything he can.

    no more then 10-20 hours of work

    It's a lot less than that if you know what you're doing. There will be a learning curve when you first start thinking seriously about accessibility, but once you understand the basics it adds very little to development time.

    11:05 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)


    WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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    if your site is unusable with the lynx browser it is almost certainly inaccessible to assistive technologies and it is highly probably that you have seo issues.
    This 65 message thread spans 3 pages: 65