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WWE Sued For Violation Of Americans With Disabilities Act

October 8, 2020 | Posted by Joseph Lee
WWE Logo, WWE Night, Sam Alvey, WWE Campus Rush Recruitment Tour, Gorilla Monsoon, Espy Awards, Hulu Image Credit: WWE

Heel By Nature reports that WWE has been hit by a lawsuit for an alleged violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Josue Romero, who is visually-impaired and legally blind, claims he is being denied equal access to the WWE shop website. The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court Southern District of New York on October 6.

The lawsuit states that Romero “requires screen-reading software to read website content using his computer”, but the website “is not equally accessible to blind and visually-impaired consumers”. According to the suit, this violates the ADA. Romero wants WWE to change corporate policies and procedures to make the site more accessible. HE is also seeking compensation for legal fees. He is hoping for a trial by jury.

According to excerpts from the suit, it features the following accessibility barriers:

Lack of Alternative Text (“alt-text”), or a text equivalent. Alt-text is an invisible code embedded beneath a graphical image on a website. Web accessibility requires that alt-text be coded with each picture so that screen-reading software can speak the alt-text where a sighted user sees pictures, which includes captcha prompts. Alttext does not change the visual presentation, but instead a text box shows when the cursor moves over the picture. The lack of alt-text on these graphics prevents screen readers from accurately vocalizing a description of the graphics.

Empty Links That Contain No Text causing the function or purpose of the link to not be presented to the user. This can introduce confusion for keyboard and screenreader users;

Redundant Links where adjacent links go to the same URL address which results in additional navigation and repetition for keyboard and screen-reader users; and Linked Images Missing Alt-text, which causes problems if an image within a link contains no text and that image does not provide alt-text. A screen reader then has no content to present the user as to the function of the link, including information contained in PDFs.

As a result of visiting Defendant’s Website and from investigations performed on his behalf, Plaintiff is aware that the Website includes at least the following additional barriers blocking his full and equal use:

a. Site function like country drop down selector is not fully properly labeled to integrate with the screen reader. The link is described as “link U.S.” This flaw bars the user form choosing the shipping destination and the currency to use in purchasing.

b. A pop-up, stating “…Save $5 on your next order…” by submitting your email address to the website. This pop-up becomes more prevalent and presents itself center-stage for the website as it opens in full screen, however, all the information contained in the pop-up is lost due to the inaccessibility of the information.

c. Site function like some product category links located in the header are inaccessible by navigating with the keyboard. When selecting a category, the link is labeled as “item as no primary action”. This flaw creates issues for the interpretation performed by the screen reader and therefore bars the user from understanding the information the website is to report back to the user.

d. Products have text that describe the item, details of the item and price. Product pricing is not labeled to integrate with screen reader and therefore, overlooks important information that a customer would require to complete a purchase.

You can find more excerpts from the filing here.

article topics :

WWE, WWE Shop, Joseph Lee