Legally Blind Individual Sues the NBA Over Digital Barriers on Website
On November 6, a legally blind individual filed a complaint against the NBA, alleging a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and seeking a permanent injunction requiring the NBA to (i) implement corporate policies that ensure website accessibility for the blind; and (ii) format its website so that it is compatible with screen reading or text-to-audio software, upon which the visually impaired rely to use the internet. Jahoda v. National Basketball Association No. 2:15-cv-01462 (W.D. Pa. Nov. 6, 2015). The complaint asserts that merely formatting the website so that it is compatible with a screen reader will not solve the larger issue: “Web-based technologies have features and content that are modified on a daily, and in some instances an hourly, basis, and a one time ‘fix’ to an inaccessible website will not cause the website to remain accessible without a corresponding change in corporate policies related to those web-based technologies.” According to the complaint, the defendant’s website denies blind individuals equal access to the site because (i) information provided by scripting language is not identified with functional text that can be read by assistive technology; and (ii) people using assistive technology do not have access to the information, field elements, and functionality required to complete and submit an electronic form.