The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), initially, filed lawsuit against Target way back in 2006, and this came after a fair warning from the NFB that came nearly 7-months earlier (in May 2005). So, it's been over a decade since the NFB put the eCommerce giant on notice. While the monumental and industry-shaping settlement didn't come until 2008, well after the federal judges ruling, one could argue, the issue of Web Accessibility has been on the Map for quite some time, now. Yet, several Ecommerce Sites still have a long way to go when it comes to improving their website experience to ensure access for all individuals with diverse abilities.
Even a cursory glance of this recent study, Common Web Accessibility Problems on Leading Ecommerce Sites from Armando Roggio, contributing editor for Practical Ecommerce, paints a clear picture of the current state-of-affairs.
Source: Common Web Accessibility Problems on Leading Ecommerce Sites (February 4, 2016)
From missing alternative text to redundancy, several of the Internet’s leading Ecommerce sites have potential web accessibility problems, which might make it difficult for shoppers with disabilities.
Even today, years after National Federation of the Blind v. Target Corporation, Ecommerce websites are potentially leaving site visitors behind by not following many of the important best practices that help ensure a fully inclusive user experience for everyone. While this study only begins to scratch the surface of truly understanding the depth of the issues that might exist across any of the popular Ecommerce destinations outlined in the study, it illustrates a clear and common issue, which has led to the current litigious environment that has characterized the first part of the year, now 2016.
The Department of Justice continues to take a consistent position defining a clear path for Ecommerce providers that need to take action in order to live up to the spirit and letter of ADA and Title III. Product owners need to have this on their radar. Its good for business and its the right thing to do.