Target sued for refusing to make their website accessible

In early February the news broke about the US National Federation of the Blind (NFB) bringing legal action against Target corporation for not making their website accessible despite being made aware of the problems.

I first learned about this from Derek Featherstone's post Taking Aim at Target(.com), with Molly E. Holzschlag reinforcing the message in Targeting Target: this lawsuit needs to cost Target enough to make corporations realise that they too need to make their websites accessible.

There are a lot of strange comments on Derek's and Molly's posts from people who believe it should be up to every company to decide whether its website should be accessible or not. The worst comments I found via Bruce Lawson's post The webdev community's response to the Target Lawsuit where he links to the Target sued for poor accessibility thread at the Sitepoint forum. Oh boy, what can I say. I am absolutely disgusted by the attitude and complete ignorance displayed by some of the people participating in the discussion.

Just one day after the first post, Derek Featherstone posted a follow-up, Staying on Target, noting that Target's website had been updated since the previous day, removing one of the barriers. First nothing happens for nine months, and when the bad publicity appears they fix one of the problems in 24 hours. Talk about lip service.

It's been over a month now and I haven't heard more about this. Target.com is still missing alt attributes for over 200 images just on the home page. A validation reveals no less than 526 markup errors.

Looks like they are just hoping for the whole thing to go away.

Posted on March 22, 2006 in Quicklinks, Accessibility