For a major issue in accessibility, I have to say that this really hasn’t seen much press. Granted, major lawsuits tend to move slowly — glacially, you might say. However, given the fact that the last announcement concerning the National Federation of the Blind v. Target Corporation lawsuit was in September of 2006, you’d expect some kind of blog coverage on the latest announcement.
In fact, I found it difficult to find anything about it at all, at first — I only became aware of it because I was talking to a web development manager from Target. (Articles are now easy to find via Google News.)
At any rate, the major news is that the lawsuit has been granted federal class-action status.
Granting class-action status allows blind people throughout the country who have tried to access Target.com to become plaintiffs in the suit, which alleges violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act. Associated Press
Further, the Judge (Marilyn Patel) ruled that changes in Target’s web site since the date of filing do not provide grounds for dismissal of the suit.
Judge Patel’s order Friday noted that Target has modified its Web site some since the suit’s filing to make the site more accessible to the blind. Target claimed the suit should therefore be dismissed, but Judge Patel ruled against that argument. Associated Press
Turning the suit into a class action may place additional pressure on businesses to start considering web accessibility a priority. One can hope, at any rate!
See also: Update: Target ruling may force retailers to adjust Web sites (Computer World)