Rey Bango

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Two rulings that could improve web accessibility

Sandy Clark posted about a recent press release that could have a dramatic impact on the requirements of making websites accessible:

A recent press release by the National Federation of the Blind discusses two rulings that could have a dramatic impact on accessibility requirements:

A federal district court judge issued two landmark decisions today in a nationwide class action against Target Corporation. First, the court certified the case as a class action on behalf of blind Internet users throughout the country under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Second, the court held that Web sites such as target.com are required by California law to be accessible.

Accessibility has been a hot topic but with no real laws in place to enforce it, many developers have considered it an afterthought. These rulings could be a real wake up call for those that have overlooked the need for accessible websites and if taken further, could have a dramatic effect on existing businesses who would need to extensively revamp their Internet initiatives.

The President of the National Federation of the Blind, Dr. Marc Maurer, commented on the court's ruling: “This is a tremendous step forward for blind people throughout the country who for too long have been denied equal access to the Internet economy. All e-commerce businesses should take note of this decision and immediately take steps to open their doors to the blind.”

If you're interested in learning more about accessibility, Max Keisler has a posting listing over 40 tutorials and articles on accessibility. In addition, the Illinois Center for Information Technology Accessibility has created a Firefox plugin that can help you in testing your web applications for markup and structural adherence to functional web accessibility.

I ask that readers post links to good web accessibility reference material to help those unfamiliar with this topic become more aware of the considerations in making accessible web applications.

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