Law

More retailers under the hammer for inaccessible websites

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A new wave of lawsuits has begun in the USA with Kmart, McDonald’s, Sears, Ace Hardware, and GrubHub among the latest to be sued by blind and vision-impaired people for having inaccessible websites that exclude them from ordering products online.

Judges gavel hammer

Judges gavel hammer

A blind woman is alleging in the Chicago federal court that three major retailers are denying her, and similarly vision-impaired people, access to their websites in violation of US federal law. Kayla Reed filed suits on 8 September against hardware retailer Ace Hardware, flooring retailer Empire Today and discount store chain Kmart.

Digital media and technology: 

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Five Guys burger chain in a pickle over website inaccessibility

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On 21 July 2017, a US federal district court in Manhattan rejected a ‘motion to dismiss’ claim by the ‘Five Guys’ burger chain (Case No. 17-cv-788) defending their alleged inaccessible website. The judge found that there is indeed a case of discrimination to answer against a legally-blind customer who couldn’t order the burger they wanted from the fast food seller’s site.

A ‘Five Guys’ burger with beef and cheese

A ‘Five Guys’ burger with beef and cheese.


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Uber sued for only having 0.3% accessible cars

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A New York disability advocacy group is taking the world’s biggest ride-share company to court in New York, accusing Uber of being rotten to the core by not providing an accessible service in the Big Apple.

Uber on smartphone with an accessible taxi in background

Uber on smartphone with an accessible taxi in background


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Legal win for Deaf couple against hospital with ineffective communication

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A high-profile hospital in Texas has settled a lawsuit which alleged that their communications for Deaf patients were ineffective, in a landmark legal outcome with far-reaching implications for the medical profession. It has been reported that the July 2017 settlement will encourage others, who are being discriminated against in terms of inaccessible processes and information, to take similar action.

Lawsuit sign

Lawsuit sign

The Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, in Edinburg Texas, is a physician-owned hospital with a prominent Cancer treatment centre, and this lawsuit settlement comes after six years of the plaintiffs trying to get the facility to be more accessible for people who are Deaf or hearing-impaired.


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UK charity puts pressure on government to enforce web accessibility

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Robin Christopherson, head of digital inclusion at Abilitynet, a UK disabilities charity, has written an open letter to the British Parliament, to put pressure on the people in power to fine organisations whose websites and apps fail to comply with WCAG 2.0.

Traffic warden issuing a parking ticket on a busy London road


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New Zealand holds an inquiry into captioning

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New Zealand’s Government Administration Committee has announced an inquiry into captioning, and is seeking submissions from the public.

Remote control being pointed at a TV with captions at the bottom of the screen

The inquiry’s terms of reference include:


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Public Sector web and mobile app accessibility to become law in Europe

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Last week, three years since its proposal, it was agreed that public sector web accessibility will now become a legal requirement in Europe; an improvement that will make a huge impact on the community.

A mouse curser hovering over a URL search bar on a webpage


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Feedback on captioning regulation wanted

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The lead-up to the end of the year has seen a little burst of consultation around captioning issues. The Federal Department of Communications and the Arts has released a policy consultation paper on the Captioning Regulatory Framework.

Businessman holding an open pair of scissors up to a line of red tape


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NSW set for web accessible 2015 election

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The forthcoming NSW election is looking to be one of Australia’s more accessible state elections thanks to the remote electronic voting system, iVote.

iVote logo

The iVote system was introduced for the NSW State General Election in March 2011, initially to enable people who are blind or have low vision to cast an independent vote.


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Q&A: Australia’s Media Accessibility in a Multicultural, Multilingual Context—Australia as a Case Study

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Media Access Australia spoke to Professor Peter Hutchings, Dean of the School of Humanities and Communication Arts at the University of Western Sydney about media accessibility in Australia; in particular, looking at how multiculturalism and multilingualism affect people’s access to media—a topic on which Professor Hutching recently presented on at the 2014 Languages & The Media conference in Berlin.

Professor Peter Hutchings using a MacBook


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