Target.com Sued Over Lack of ALT Tags (Attributes)

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Target.com Sued Over Lack of ALT Tags

The National Federation of the Blind and a college student are suing Target and want to establish a class action suit over Target and its lack of accessibility for blind internet users. The suit is centered around Target.com’s lack of ALT text in its site’s images. Wonder who’s doing their SEO, as ALT tags (or ALT Attributes) are a very important part of all around site usability and relevancy.

Not to point fingers at the National Federation of the Blind, but if you scroll over the navigational images at the top of their site, there are no ALT tags to inform the user of those images either.

The suit specifically claims the following lacks of accessibility on Target.com

* Lack of alt text
* images maps that neither have alt text or a functional equivalent on the page
* requirement for a mouse to perform various functions on the site

One issue brought up on the Webstandards.org blog is who is at fault here? Target or Amazon.com:

Target.com is powered by Amazon.com, so who is responsible? are both responsible? a 50-50 split? 75-25? does the Amazon.com engine that is powering the site even allow Target developers make it accessible? Depending on the functionality of the Amazon engine, can it be considered an Authoring Tool and thus subject to the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines? Did Amazon promise accessibility but not deliver? Did accessibility even make it on to the radar when building the site?

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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