Burlington Coat Factory and Wyndham Hotels have been sued in the District Court of New Jersey; True Religion Apparel and Forever 21 were sued in the District Court of Delaware; Steve Madden Handbags in the Eastern District of New York and Jimmy Choo, USA in the Southern District of New York. All complaints allege that their websites violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) because the two websites are not compatible with software that helps visually impaired people read website content. According to the complaints, the plaintiff uses a program called Chrome Box to access the Internet, but the defendants’ websites contain barriers to that program. Those barriers include: (1) a lack of alternate text, which is an invisible code embedded under an image on a website that is read by the screen-reading software when a blind user’s mouse moves over the image; and (2) empty links that contain no text, causing the function or purpose of the link not to be presented to the user, or linked images missing alternate text.
The websites would be compatible with Chrome Box if their design followed Version 2.0 of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines from the World Wide Web Consortium, the International Website Standards Organization. If the websites were compatible they would not be violating the ADA.
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