AOL is being sued under the Americans with Disabilities Act by nine blind people who charge that the online service, as a public accommodation, is not sufficiently accessible to the blind. The AOL client software, they charge, doesn’t work well with the screen-reader programs used by many blind people. If the suit is successful, it means the ADA will also likely apply to other online services — and to Web pages.

Web page designers, listen up: If you’re still relying on massive image maps without text links and no ALT tags, it’s time to start thinking about accessible Web site design. Do it now, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it may soon be the law.

AOL sued by blind Net users
(Boston Globe, 11/5)

Blind Federation Demands Equal Access to AOL
InternetNews, November 5, 1999