Blind People Sue Target And Win: $6 Million Damages For Inaccessible Web Site

After arguing unsuccessfully that the Americans with Disabilities Act only required physical stores to make accomodations for the blind, Target has been forced to pay $6 million to settle a class-action suit made by blind customers in California unable to use Target’s Web site.

The upscale discounter has also been forced to upgrade its site. In the future, Target, you might want to pay attention to what your competitor, Wal-Mart, is doing.

LA Times: Target Corp. has agreed to pay $6 million in damages to plaintiffs in California unable to use its online site as part of a class-action settlement with the National Federation of the Blind, a leading advocacy group for blind people.

As part of the settlement, announced Wednesday, Target will place $6 million in an interest-bearing account from which members of the California settlement class can make claims. Furthermore, the settlement requires Target to implement internal guidelines to make its site more accessible to the blind by Feb. 28, 2009, with assistance from the NFB.

The Minneapolis-based retailer and the NFB have agreed to a three-year relationship during which the advocacy group will keep testing the site to make sure it is accessible to the blind who use technologies such as screen-reading software. The NFB said it would certify the site through its certification program once the improvements are completed.

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