According to the Justice Department website, the settlement follows allegations made by the department that the Peapod site violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by being not accessible to people who are blind or have low vision, individuals who are Deaf or hard of hearing, and individuals who have physical disabilities affecting manual dexterity.
Under the settlement, the owners and operators of the site, Ahold U.S.A. Inc. and Peapod, LLC, must adopt several measures including:
- Designating an employee as web accessibility coordinator for www.peapod.com, who will report directly to a Peapod, LLC executive
- Retaining an independent website accessibility consultant, who will annually evaluate the accessibility of the website and its mobile applications
- Adopting a formal web accessibility policy
- Providing a notice on the peapod site soliciting feedback from visitors on how website accessibility can be improved
- Providing automated accessibility testing and accessibility testing by individuals with a variety of disabilities of the Peapod site and its mobile applications
- Providing mandatory annual training on website accessibility for Peapod’s website content personnel
The settlement follows closely on the heels of a new Australian legal case alleging that the online shopping service of major retailer Coles is inaccessible. The action follows a complaint being made through the Australian Human Rights Commission, which was unable to be resolved.
The case has received substantial coverage, with Fairfax reporting that Coles is facing a landmark claim and the ABC reporting that a successful claim could have implications for other websites.
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