Another large company sued for lack of accessibility – Blick Art Materials

Another large company sued for lack of accessibility – Blick Art Materials

Vick Andrews, who is legally blind, is suing Blick Art Materials, LLC for discriminating against him based on his disability. Blick’s website, “dickblick.com“, contains access barriers which deny full and equal access. The court stated that Andrew has a right to obtain effective access to Blick’s website to make purchases, learn about products, and enjoy the other good, services, accommodations, and privileges the defendant’s website provides to the general public. Dickblick.com admitted that they do not follow any guidelines to ensure accessibility, rendering the website inaccessible to those who are visually impaired. Andrews did not allege that he was unable to purchase art supplies from Blick because of these issues. Instead, he alleges that due to Dickblick.com’s inaccessibility blind customers must spend time, energy, and/or money to make their purchases at a Blick store.

Title III of the ADA provides that “No individual shall be discriminated against on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of anyplace of public accommodation by any person who owns, leases (or leases to), or operates a place of public accommodation.” The new critical question is whether a website should be considered a “place.”

If a website is a place of public accommodation  “failure to take such steps as may be necessary to ensure that no individual with a disability is excluded” from the “full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of’ the website violates the law. The statute does not contain a definition of the term “place of public accommodation.”

There is a split among the courts on the issue of whether only a physical structure may be a “place” of public accommodation.

The defendant’s preliminary motion to dismiss for lack of substantive jurisdiction was denied. It was decided that the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to the plaintiff’s claim. It’s obvious that the opinion of the courts has shifted in the favor of plaintiffs.

Don’t risk the courts deciding whether your website should be considered a “Place.” Allow ADASure to help you today!

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