In a major victory for disabled-rights activists, federal judge Marilyn Hall Patel has ruled that the National Federation of the Blind can go to trial against the Target Corp. on charges that its online shopping website should be redesigned to make it easier for blind computer users to use. (Bloomberg, Reuters).
We’ve covered the Target suit Feb. 8 (with enormous reader discussion), Oct. 4 and Oct. 27 of last year. Existing federal court precedent, in the Southwest Airlines case, discourages the most far-reaching demands for web “accessibility”; the Target case, which is being heard before a judge who’s considered relatively liberal, is important because disabled-rights activists hope to use it to counter and eventually reverse the Southwest precedent (see Jan. 8, 2004). For reasons why a victory by the activists might lead to unprecedented infringements on the freedom to conduct business or even publish online, see my May 2000 Reason column and my House testimony of earlier that year, and earlier posts on this site (& welcome Michelle Malkin readers).