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Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts

Authors

Jeffrey Bashaw

Abstract

The United States District Court for the Northern District of California recently held that websites which are tightly integrated with a physical store must be accessible to the blind, or risk running afoul of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The court in this case, National Federation of the Blind v. Target (“Target”), declined to grant summary judgment for Target, a retailer which operates both physical stores and an e-commerce website, in a suit alleging that Target’s website, Target.com, was discriminating against the blind. This Article will describe the narrow application of Target, which found that websites which are tightly integrated with a physical store must be accessible to the blind to comply with the ADA. This Article also discusses the uncertainties this case leaves unanswered, such as at what point a business’ web presence becomes subject to this ruling and is required to be accessible to the blind. Finally, this Article will explore arguments about how the ADA may apply to pure e-commerce sites as well.

First Page

10

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