On Thursday, Tera Donahue filed a complaint against Nurture Inc. in the Central District of Illinois claiming the company designed their website in a way that is inaccessible to visually impaired persons, claiming that this violates Title III of the American Disabilities Act.
The plaintiff Donahue has retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative retinopathy disease, and has been legally blind since 1994, which means she is legally protected by the American Disabilities Act (ADA). In order to access the Internet, she uses screen reader software that “translates the visual internet into an auditory equivalent” which “reads the content of a webpage to the user.” However, the plaintiff claimed that the defendant’s website is “largely incompatible” with screen reader programs.
The defendant owns the website Happy Family Organics, which allegedly has “a location pop-up that “traps” screen reader users,” the pop-up appears after clicking the option to “buy now.” The plaintiff explained that this pop-up cannot be exited, making it difficult for visually impaired people to navigate and purchase items from this website.
The plaintiff wishes to enforce Title III of the ADA, which states that a public accommodation must not deny persons with disabilities its services, give equal opportunities to those with visual disabilities, ensure the disabled are given accommodations and that the company’s resources are utilized in a way to ensure equal opportunities for all. According to the complaint, the defendant’s website can be considered a public accommodation and it “deprives blind and visually-impaired individuals the benefits of its online goods, content, and services.”
The plaintiff is seeking declaratory and injunctive relief “which directs Defendant to take all steps necessary to bring its Website into full compliance with the requirements set forth in the ADA,” attorney’s fees and costs, and other relief.
The plaintiff is represented by Nye, Stirling, Hale & Miller, LLP.