Target faces lawsuit over Web site

Big-box retailer Target faces a class action lawsuit over its Web site, which plaintiffs in the action say is essentially unusable for the blind.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, plaintiffs have argued the retailer’s Web site violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. They say other companies have adopted technology that makes Web sites accessible to the blind by offering embedded features that vocalize written content.

The federation filed the suit, originally filed in California state court in February 2006 and moved at Target's request to San Francisco federal court the following month, according to the newspaper. The suit alleged that "due to Target's failure and refusal to remove access barriers to Target.com, blind individuals have been and are being denied equal access to Target stores.”

Federal Judge Marilyn Hall Patel granted the suit class action status this week.

Marc Maurer, president of the National Federation of the Blind, told the Wall Street Journal, "All e-commerce businesses should take note of this decision and immediately take steps to open their doors to the blind."

Target argued that since the original filing of the lawsuit, it has made changes to the Web site to make it more accessible to the blind. Judge Patel ruled against that argument.