A lawsuit has been filed against the internet based eCommerce store, Etsy, for purportedly disregarding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

So, what occurred and why, and how might you try not to end up like Etsy?

Here are the issues a visually impaired customer purportedly had while attempting to shop on Etsy which lead to the legal claim:

  • No warning when content is opened in a new tab. This makes it disorientating and hard for disabled users to figure out the source and new location of the unexpected change.
  • Menus with drop-down components don’t declare whether they are collapsing or expanding. This makes it challenging to decide whether there are more links inside them.
  • Link titles are excessively lengthy and hard to comprehend utilizing a screenreader.
  • The heading order isn’t as characterized. This makes it beyond difficult for a customer who depends on a screen reader to successfully track down the topic of interest.
  • Pictures frequently need alt text and those that didn’t frequently have ineffectively and vague text.
  • Purchases require the utilization of a mouse to finish transactions.
  • There is an absence of keyboard navigation features.

With these accessibility issues across Etsy.com, customers that are visually disabled are effectively denied from buying any products thus the site is in violation of the ADA. You can view the documentation online on PACER.

Download the PDF: 9 Tips for Making Your Website More Accessible

Why does this matter?

In the United States alone there are over 8.1 million individuals who experience vision disability. That is 8.1 million individuals that Etsy allegedly denies having the option to shop and peruse their site’s products.

And that’s not all.

To cite the case document straightforwardly:

The Internet has become a significant source of information, a portal, and a tool for conducting business, doing everyday activities such as shopping, learning, banking, researching, as well as many other activities for sighted, blind and visually-impaired persons alike.”

In this day and age the web is vital to people’s lives, regardless of their age, knowledge, or ability. Tim Burners-Lee who made the World Wide Web back in 1989 said, “The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.” To put it plainly, the web is, and consistently has been, utilized by everybody. Thus keeping any individuals from gaining access is an issue.

Sadly, the same accessibility issues with Etsy have an impact beyond individuals with visual disabilities. Individuals with cognitive disabilities may likewise depend on a screen reader to comprehend site page content. What’s more, individuals with missing appendages or motor control disabilities need to depend on options other than a mouse, like keyboard controls and other assistive innovations.

In such manner, Etsy is supposedly preventing individuals with various disabilities from utilizing their site. In 2022, this is simply not OK.

So, what can be done?

Read on for our analysis.

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  1. Pingback: What to do about website accessibility? – Viz-Serv

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