Tomas Maier Website Inaccessibility for the Legally Blind ADA Class Action

The complaint for this class action alleges that the website for Tomas Maier (part of TMAP, LLC) does not permit the use of screen readers, which makes it inaccessible to the visually-impaired. According to the complaint, this is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The complaint for this class action sets forth a class and a subclass:

  • The Nationwide Class is all legally blind individuals in the US who have tried to access the Tomas Maier website but have been denied access to the equal enjoyment of goods and services offered in Tomas Maier’s physical locations, during the relevant statutory period.
  • The New York Subclass is all individuals from the Nationwide Class who are located in the City of New York.

Congress passed the ADA so that persons with handicaps could live more independent lives and have access to public places and services of various kinds. 

Among the populations the ADA serves are the blind or visually impaired—people with a visual acuity of 20 x 200 or less. The numbers of people with this handicap are significant: A US Census Bureau report for 2010 says there are 8.1 million visually-impaired people in the US, and an American Foundation for the Blind 2015 report counts approximately 400,000 visually-impaired people in the state of New York. Some visually-impaired people have limited sight; others have none at all. 

At this point in time, the Internet is a necessary part of everyday life, as a source of information, job-hunting aid, and tool for taking care of business, from working and learning to shopping and banking. 

Access to the Internet is important for visually-impaired people as well, particularly because of their limited mobility. Fortunately, they can access and use websites with screen-reading aids, provided the website is set up to work with them. For example, websites must have an alt-text equivalent for each image or non-text element, and all functions must be usable with a keyboard.

Plaintiff Jose Figueroa uses a JAWS screen reader, a popular type, but he claims that he has not been able to use the Tomas Maier website. Tomas Maier has a store on Bleecker Street in New York City, the complaint says, and it is a “place of public accommodation” that should permit access to persons with handicaps. But when Figueroa tried to use the website, it says, he found multiple barriers to his use of it, including these:

  • Lack of alt-text or text equivalent for non-text items.
  • Empty links that do not contain text.
  • Redundant links, which require additional navigation and repetition.
  • Linked images without alt-text.

The complaint claims that the company has violated the ADA, the New York State Human Rights Law, and the New York State Civil Rights Law. 

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Civil Rights

Most Recent Case Event

Tomas Maier Website Inaccessibility for the Legally Blind ADA Complaint

October 29, 2018

The complaint for this class action alleges that the website for Tomas Maier (part of TMAP, LLC) does not permit the use of screen readers, which makes it inaccessible to the visually-impaired. According to the complaint, this is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

tmap_ada_complaint.pdf

Case Event History

Tomas Maier Website Inaccessibility for the Legally Blind ADA Complaint

October 29, 2018

The complaint for this class action alleges that the website for Tomas Maier (part of TMAP, LLC) does not permit the use of screen readers, which makes it inaccessible to the visually-impaired. According to the complaint, this is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

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