A blind woman filed a class action lawsuit against pop singer Beyonce and her company Parkwood Entertainment. The lawsuit alleges the singer’s website, Beyonce.com, is not accessible to millions of visually impaired Americans.
Mary Conner of New York claims the popular website violates the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act since Americans with vision problems have difficulty navigating the site.
“The one and only form of entertainment that truly presents an even playing field between the visually impaired and the sighted is the joy of music,” reads her complaint, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.
“Plaintiff dreams of attending a Beyonce concert and listening to her music in a live setting. However, when she browsed the Beyonce.com website, she encountered numerous barriers which limited her accessibility to the goods and services offered on the website.”
Conner claims she is unable to use her browser to access parts of Beyonce’s website as it has “an exclusively visual interface” for the sighted and therefore she can’t make online purchases without the assistance of a sighted person — preventing her from easily buying tickets to the 37-year-old’s concerts.
Conner also complained that the pictures, which are an important feature of the website, lack text that can be read out loud by a screen-reader used by the blind, as required by U.S. law. Other complaints include a lack of accessible drop-down menus and no option to use a keyboard as an alternative to a mouse.
The plaintiff is requesting an injunction that would force Parkwood Ent. to fix the alleged issues with Beyonce.com.
Conner is also seeking financial compensation for all legally blind Americans who have tried and failed to use the site and want to join her class action lawsuit.
If Conner prevails in court, the landmark decision will force blogs and ecommerce websites to make expensive upgrades to accommodate the visually impaired.
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