Widespread Web access

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The news today that Target has settled a class-action lawsuit from the National Federation of the Blind comes as a victory not only for the vision impaired, but for others who have difficulty accessing the Web due to mobility issues.  A California court has mandated that Target use specific technology and site design elements to make its e-commerce site more accessible.

Target will establish a $6 million settlement fund from which litigants in the California lawsuit can make claims. In addition, Target and the federation also have agreed to a three-year relationship during which the National Federation of the Blind will perform accessibility testing of Target.com.

Accessibility standards for the disabled have been set by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, World Wide Web Consortium and the Americans with Disabilities Act. While some may raise legal questions about which organizations should be mandated to meet these standards, clearly marketers who don't pursue accessibility for the broadest range of shoppers risk disenfranchising many, many more.

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