A class action lawsuit claims that Beyoncé’s official website violates the Americans With Disabilities Act (1990) by denying visually impaired users equal access to its products and services, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Web accessibility requires photos to be coded with alt-text so that screen-readers used by visually impaired users can speak the alternative text. Dan Shaked, attorney for plaintiff Mary Conner, said: “There are many important pictures on beyonce.com that lack a text equivalent … As a result, Plaintiff and blind beyonce.com customers are unable to determine what is on the website, browse the website or investigate and/or make purchases.”
The Guardian has contacted representatives for Beyoncé for comment.
Conner is described in the suit as having “no vision whatsoever”. Shaked describes music as “the one and only form of entertainment that truly presents an even playing field between the visually impaired and the sighted”. Conner’s hopes of attending a Beyoncé concert were restricted by her lack of access to the website, the suit claims.
The complaint lists further issues including the lack of accessible drop-down menus and navigation links, and the inability to navigate using a keyboard instead of a mouse.
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The proposed lawsuit includes “all legally blind individuals in the United States who have attempted to access Beyonce.com and as a result have been denied access to the enjoyment of goods and services offered by Beyonce.com, during the relevant statutory period.”
Conner seeks a court injunction that would require Beyoncé’s company to make the site accessible to blind and visually impaired customers in accordance with ADA rules, and is pursuing damages for those who have “been subject to unlawful discrimination”.