Once again, the Americans with Disabilities Act continues to prove itself not only to be the Law of Diminishing Returns, wherein American companies must continue to spend infinitely increasing amounts of money to placate an infinite number of aggrieved parties. The latest group to attempt to stretch the law to new frontiers: Blind patrons sue Target for site inaccessibility:
Bruce Sexton says he’s one of many blind individuals who can live more independently because of the Internet.
When it comes to shopping, for example, the 24-year-old college student doesn’t have to get to and navigate brick-and-mortar stores or ask employees for help. Rather, with the help of a keyboard and screen-reading software, he can navigate a Web site and make his purchase.
Or can he?
Sexton, along with a blind advocacy group, filed a class action lawsuit this week against Target, alleging that the retail giant’s Web site is inaccessible to the blind and thus violates a California law that incorporates the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The suit, filed in Northern California’s Alameda County Superior Court by Sexton and the Baltimore-based National Federation of the Blind (NFB), claims that Target.com, “contains thousands of access barriers that make it difficult, if not impossible, for blind customers to use.”
Listen, I know what Section 508 means and I believe that making your products and services available to the widest possible audience is a good thing, but the ADA (like lots of doing-something legislation) adds burdens to businesses which drive businesses from profitablility to “why bother?”
Additionally, if the legalistic fiction of “public spaces” continues to expand, where will it end? Conversations and talks that don’t offer closed captioning or live signing limit accessibility. So do books, magazines, and papers that do not come with audio versions. How about yard sales or home-based businesses without wheelchair ramps?
The world and its litigants are completely destroying the logical fallacy of ad absurdum, turning hyperbole into a game plan and absurdity into inevitability.