The Problem

According to Prevent Blindness America, 53.2 million Americans aged 45 or older have some form of visual impairment, from mild to severe, and about 18 percent of those affected are “legally blind.” Visual impairments span a range of issues and disabilities, the most prominent of which are color blindness, low vision, and blindness.


Blind and visually impaired customers of Gap and Lane Bryant file a class action lawsuit saying their websites are not accessible to those using screen readers. 

Gap, Lane Bryant website accessibility class action lawsuits overview: 

  • Who: Bryan Velazquez filed separate class action lawsuits against Gap, Inc. and Lane Bryant Brands Opco, LLC. 
  • Why: Velazquez claims Gap and Lane Bryant are both violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by not making their websites fully accessible and independently usable for individuals who are blind or visually impaired. 
  • Where: The class action lawsuits were filed in New York federal court.

Velazquez argues that Gap and Lane Bryant are violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by allegedly not having websites which are “equally accessible to blind and visually impaired consumers.” 

For each complaint, Velazquez wants to represent a nationwide Class and New York subclass of legally blind individuals who have attempted to access Gap or Lane Bryant’s website and been “denied access to the equal enjoyment of goods and services offered.” 

What tools do visually impaired people use to surf the web?

  • Here are the most common tools the visually impaired use to surf the web: 1. Screen Readers Screen readers are software programs that convert text and other content on a website into synthesized speech and allow users to access content in different ways.


What makes a website accessible to visually impaired people?

  • Plainly put, web accessibility enables people with disabilities to perceive, understand, navigate, interact with, and contribute to the web.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act stepped up for those who cannot walk and required wheelchair access to all buildings constructed after 1991, user experience (UX) designers should ensure equal accessibility for all users by designing web-based experiences that can be used, understood, and accessed by people with a diverse range of visual, auditory, cognitive, and physical abilities.
  • The Atlantic, a content-heavy yet accessible website, allows users to increase text size on every article page. By providing users a clear option, whether it’s a slider, a drop-down, a button — anything — to alter the font size, brands and businesses (especially those with content-heavy websites) become friendlier to visually impaired users.


What is web design for blind users?

Because web experiences are inherently visual, the web is fraught with sites, tools, and apps that are practically unusable for people with visual impairments. For example, it’s not uncommon to see websites that use combinations of background and foreground colors that make pages virtually unreadable for colorblind users. Despite all this, people with visual impairments use the web every day to surf, read and write emails, and to do anything else anyone can conceivably do on the internet.

When creating a website for the visually impaired, remember, at a high level, to make it perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust.

Not only should visually impaired people be