Amazon.com is going to be Accessible by the end of 2007

by Hari K. Gottipati

While Target is facing the lawsuit by NFB on accessibility issues, Amazon realised the importance of accessibility and they are going to make Amazon.com accessible for blind people via screen readers. Lately AJAX accessibility issues caught vendors attention and lot of companies including Bindows focused on implementing the accessibility functionality for Ajax applications. Today Amazon.com and National Federation of the Blind joined the forces to develop and promote web accessibility. From the press release:
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and Amazon.com announced today that they have agreed to work together to promote and improve technology that enables blind people to access and use the World Wide Web. In a cooperation agreement, Amazon.com pledged its commitment to continue improving the accessibility of its Web site platform, while the NFB committed to contribute its expertise in Web accessibility technologies to help further Amazon.com's efforts.

From the NFB and Amazon agreement:
PART 3 - ACCESSIBILITY TIME TABLE
A. Amazon commits to work to provide Full and Equal Access on Amazon.com and Syndicated Store Web Sites, to the extent such access is not already available, by no later than December 31,2007 and continuing thereafter.
B. Amazon commits to work to implement technical measures, to the extent any are necessary, no later than June 30, 2008 and continuing thereafter, so as to ensure that third parties to whom Amazon delivers e-commerce services are not prevented by Amazon-supplied technology from providing Full and Equal Access on their Merchant.com Web Sites.

This is a good sign and I am sure more applications/sites will follow this. Good move by Amazon.

1 Comments

stelt
2007-03-30 16:17:23
According to my validating extension, amazon.com has well over a thousand HTML errors alone on its front page. So there's plenty of room for improvement