Escape the Room Website Not Accessible to the Visually Impaired ADA Class Action

The number of legally-blind persons in the US is not insignificant—approximately 8.1 million people, based on the 2010 US Census Bureau Report. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) tries to ensure that the visually impaired, among others with disabilities, can live independently and access whatever they need without help. But the complaint for this class action alleges that Escape the Room Experience, LLC has not made it possible for visually-impaired people to use its website. 

The Nationwide Class for this action is all legally-blind individuals in the US who have tried to use Escape the Room’s website, during the relevant statutory period, but have been denied access to equal enjoyment of Escape the Room’s goods and services. New York State and New York City Subclasses have also been proposed.

People are classified as legally blind when their vision has an acuity of 20 x 200 or less. Some of these people have no vision; others have limited vision. It is important for such people to have access to the Internet, particularly in view of their limited mobility—for example, their inability to drive. 

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), an international website standards organization, publishes Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. These guidelines are followed by most large businesses and government agencies to allow the visually-impaired access to their websites. These guidelines promote the use of such things as text equivalents for all non-text elements and the ability to use keyboards throughout the website.

Escape the Room is an interactive entertainment venue that offers physical locations and a website. According to the complaint, these are all “public accommodations” under the ADA. The website offers access to goods and services, a listing of locations and hours, the ability to view room options, and the ability to buy tickets and access promotional coupons and discounts.

Unfortunately, the complaint says, the website is not available to visually-impaired people. Plaintiff Jose Figueroa has JAWS, the most popular screen reader, but was unable to use the website because of a number of barriers:

  • Lack of alt-text, or text equivalents for non-text elements such as images and graphics.
  • Empty links that don’t contain text.
  • Redundant links, or adjacent links that go to the same URL addresses, requiring additional navigation and repetition on keyboards. 
  • Linked images without alt-text.

The complaint claims that the company has violated the ADA as well as New York state laws, including its Human Rights Law and Civil Rights Law. It asks for injunctive relief as well as compensatory damages. 

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Civil Rights

Most Recent Case Event

Escape the Room Website Not Accessible to the Visually Impaired ADA Complaint

October 15, 2018

The number of legally-blind persons in the US is not insignificant—approximately 8.1 million people, based on the 2010 US Census Bureau Report. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) tries to ensure that the visually impaired, among others with disabilities, can live independently and access whatever they need without help. But the complaint for this class action alleges that Escape the Room Experience, LLC has not made it possible for visually-impaired people to use its website. 

escape_room_visually_impaired_complaint.pdf

Case Event History

Escape the Room Website Not Accessible to the Visually Impaired ADA Complaint

October 15, 2018

The number of legally-blind persons in the US is not insignificant—approximately 8.1 million people, based on the 2010 US Census Bureau Report. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) tries to ensure that the visually impaired, among others with disabilities, can live independently and access whatever they need without help. But the complaint for this class action alleges that Escape the Room Experience, LLC has not made it possible for visually-impaired people to use its website. 

escape_room_visually_impaired_complaint.pdf
Tags: Accessibility, Americans with Disabilities Act, Civil Rights, Legally Blind