Court of Appeal rules many websites must be coded to let blind people use them

Restaurants, hotels and other businesses that serve the public in California must make their websites accessible to the blind, a state appeals court ruled Tuesday.

The 1990 federal law prohibiting discrimination against the disabled in any place of “public accommodation” applies to websites where people can make reservations, said the Second District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles, the first appellate court in California to rule on the issue.

It rejected arguments that the law applied only to actions at the restaurant or place of business and not to a website, a position endorsed by a federal appeals court in Philadelphia in 1998 but rejected by other courts. Tuesday’s ruling also rejected a Los Angeles restaurant owner’s contention that it had complied adequately with the law by providing a phone number and email address on its website.

Keep reading this article at San Francisco Chronicle.