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ADA compliance issues for online businesses

A world of information is online, but if the information isn't accessible to everyone, is it really useful? And are there steps that can be taken to make the information accessible to everyone?

A recent article points out that some disability advocates are pursuing litigation against online businesses accused of discriminating against people with disabilities.

According to the news report, Omaha Steaks has had a lawsuit filed against it by a nonprofit advocacy group that says the firm's site isn't user-friendly for people with disabilities. The group says the Omaha Steaks website isn't compatible with text-to-audio software, which helps blind and visually impaired people make use of the internet.

“Screen reader software provides the primary method by which a blind person may independently use the Internet,” the suit states. Without the software, blind individuals can't get the products and services the company offers.

The lawsuit says there are 13 "access barriers" on the company's website, including the lack of a "text equivalent for every non-text element” and the lack of text that can be resized without assistive technology.

The lawsuit asks the court to order the company to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The company declined to comment on pending litigation.

While some dismiss lawsuits asking for ADA compliance as nuisances, those with disabilities understand that the lawsuits are a means of getting companies and industries to comply with the law and to ensure equal access to businesses, products and services.

If you or a loved one faces discrimination because of a disability, you can speak with a Milwaukee attorney experienced in ADA-related litigation. Contact the law firm of Alan C. Olson & Associates, s.c. for more information.

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