INA Designs Website Inaccessible to the Blind ADA Class Action

The legal definition of blindness is having a visual acuity with correctio of less than or equal to 20 x 200. Some legally blind people have limited vision; others have none. Nowadays, legally blind people can use screen-reading software to use the Internet. But the complaint for this class action alleges that INA Designs, Inc. has a website that does not allow the use of such software. The complaint brings suit under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as well as under New York state and city laws.

The class for this action is all legally blind individuals in the US who have tried to access INA’s website and as a result have been denied access to the enjoyment of goods and services offered at Ina’s physical location, during the statutory period.

The complaint quotes a statistic of approximately 8.1 million visually impaired persons in the US, of which 2 million qualify as legally blind. Congress passed the ADA to ensure that people with handicaps, including the blind, are able to operate independently as far as possible. 

Access to the Internet is important, for job hunting, shopping, and accessing information. Even where people mean to use a brick-and-mortar location, they may want to consult the Internet for location and hours of operation as well as current special offers. The Internet is particularly important to the blind, since they have limited mobility.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international website standards organization that has issued version 2.0 of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0). These guidelines are used by major businesses and government agencies to ensure that their websites are accessible to the blind or visually-impaired.

For screen readers to work on a website, the elements of the website must all be able to be read as text. For example, images and buttons must have an invisible alt-text equivalent that allows the screen reader to read them. The provisions to make a website accessible are invisible to regular users.

Unfortunately, INA Designs does not offer these provisions to users. INA is a designer consignment clothing store in New York City. As a “place of public accommodation,” it is subject to the ADA as well as the New York State Human Rights Law and the New York City Human Rights Law. 

In trying to use I INA’s website with a screen reader, plaintiff Yovanny Dominguez encountered a number of barriers:

  • Lack of alt-text for images
  • Empty links that contain no text, so that the function and purpose of the links aren’t clear
  • Redundant links that go to the same URL, so that navigation is repetitive
  • Linked images which do not have alt-text

Among other things, the complaint asks that the company correct its website so that it is properly accessible and continue to maintain it in that way. 

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Civil Rights

Most Recent Case Event

INA Designs Website Inaccessible to the Blind ADA Complaint

January 7, 2020

The legal definition of blindness is having a visual acuity with correctio of less than or equal to 20 x 200. Some legally blind people have limited vision; others have none. Nowadays, legally blind people can use screen-reading software to use the Internet. But the complaint for this class action alleges that INA Designs, Inc. has a website that does not allow the use of such software. The complaint brings suit under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as well as under New York state and city laws.

ina_designs_website_use_by_blind_ada_compl.pdf

Case Event History

INA Designs Website Inaccessible to the Blind ADA Complaint

January 7, 2020

The legal definition of blindness is having a visual acuity with correctio of less than or equal to 20 x 200. Some legally blind people have limited vision; others have none. Nowadays, legally blind people can use screen-reading software to use the Internet. But the complaint for this class action alleges that INA Designs, Inc. has a website that does not allow the use of such software. The complaint brings suit under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as well as under New York state and city laws.

ina_designs_website_use_by_blind_ada_compl.pdf
Tags: Accessibility, Blind or Visually Impaired, Civil Rights, Legally Blind