6 million reasons to pay attention to accessibility

A nearly three year old lawsuit has resulted in a $6 million settlement over accessibility problems at Target.com.

Target has settled a class action lawsuit with the National Federation of the Blind over accessibility complaints with Target.com. Despite the law being unclear as to whether the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to websites, the company will pay a substantial fee and update its web site to make it accessible to the blind.

Another case study in how building accessible, standards compliant, web sites is not only the right thing to do but can save you millions. Plus, doing the right thing in this regard is easier to do than ever before with improved browsers, web application frameworks and agreed upon standards.

A complicating factor for some organizations can be that they are using systems for their sites that have been developed and added to since the early days of the web when accessibility wasn’t even an afterthought. However, committing to upgrading your system before the lawsuits were filed would have allowed Target to invest a portion of that $6 million in improving their site rather than paying a fine.

(Spotted via Gadgetopia.)

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