Shaky Knees Music Festival Website Accessibility to the Blind ADA Class Action

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has extended the realm of civil rights, so that disabled people can live independent lives. This class action takes issue with a website for the Shaky Knees Music Festival, which the complaint says is not accessible to the blind or visually impaired. 

The class for this action is all legally blind individuals in the US who have tried to access the Shaky Knees Music Festival website, during the relevant statutory period, but have been denied access to equal enjoyment of goods and services offered.

Plaintiff Brian Fischler is blind, but he is able to use websites with the help of his Job Access with Speech (JAWS) screen reader, provided the site is set up for its use.

Standards exist for making websites accessible. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), an international website standards organization, has published version 2.0 of its Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0). These guidelines are followed by most large businesses and government entities.

The guidelines offer ways for people who cannot see images and videos to navigate and use websites, for example these:

  • Every non-text element (such as a picture) should have an “alt-text” or text equivalent embedded in it. Screen readers can read out these alt-text elements.
  • Videos should have audio description. 
  • The website should provide title frames with text.
  • Webpages should be properly labeled with the topic or purpose of the page.
  • Links are properly labeled.

The website www.shakykneesfestival.com is owned by Live Nation Concerts. It allows consumers to find information about the music festival, such as dates, locations, performance lineups, and access for those with disabilities. They can also buy tickets and event merchandise, such as clothing and posters. 

When plaintiff Fischler last visited the website, on February 27, 2019, he was unable to make proper use of the site because of the following barriers:

  • Lack of alt-text for images and other visual elements.
  • Lineup of musicians provided by an image of the concert poster, which cannot be read by the screen reader.
  • Poorly-labeled and unlabeled elements.
  • Unlabeled buttons and headings labeled as links.
  • Links labeled only “Link.”
  • Lack of labels or titles on form fields.
  • Difficult and burdensome navigation.
  • Ability to add items in the store to a cart, but not to go on to make the purchase.

Because of the site’s barriers to access, the complaint says, Fischler and others like him are denied equal access to the festival and to the goods and services provided by the website. The complaint says that Live Nation must remove the barrers. 

The complaint brings suit under the ADA, the New York State Human Rights Law, and the New York City Human Rights Law.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Civil Rights

Most Recent Case Event

Shaky Knees Music Festival Website Accessibility to the Blind ADA Complaint

March 4, 2019

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has extended the realm of civil rights, so that disabled people can live independent lives. This class action takes issue with a website for the Shaky Knees Music Festival, which the complaint says is not accessible to the blind or visually impaired. The complaint brings suit under the ADA, the New York State Human Rights Law, and the New York City Human Rights Law.

shaky_knees_festival_website_ada_compl.pdf

Case Event History

Shaky Knees Music Festival Website Accessibility to the Blind ADA Complaint

March 4, 2019

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has extended the realm of civil rights, so that disabled people can live independent lives. This class action takes issue with a website for the Shaky Knees Music Festival, which the complaint says is not accessible to the blind or visually impaired. The complaint brings suit under the ADA, the New York State Human Rights Law, and the New York City Human Rights Law.

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