South-Western Legal Studies in Business

Lack of Access for the Blind to Store Website May Violate Disability Law

Court held that plaintiffs had stated a cause of action against Target for failure by the retailer to make its website accessible to the blind. Such failure of access is likely to be covered by the American with Disabilities Act, so the case may proceed.

Topic Cyberlaw
Key Words

Disabilities; Access; Website

C A S E   S U M M A R Y

Target, a national retail chain, operates the website Plaintiffs sued, contending that the site is not accessible to blind individuals. Plaintiffs contend that designing the site to be accessible is technologically simple and not costly. They contend that this lack of access violates the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). Plaintiffs sought an injunction and monetary relief. Target moved for dismissal for failure to state a claim.


Motion dismissed; preliminary injunction denied. A place of "public accommodation" within the meaning of the ADA is a physical place. That does not have to be the actual premises of a public place, such as a Target store. All services of public accommodation fall within the scope of the ADA. The fact that the services do not occur in a retail store does not limit the possible application of the law. Hence, plaintiffs have stated a cause of action of denial of full and equal access to Target services. There must be a review of the facts before the court can consider an injunction against Target.


National Federation of the Blind v. Target Corp., ---F.Supp.2d--- (2006 WL 2578282, N.D., Calif., 2006)

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