Proceedings of the 41st Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS 2008) (2008)
Waikoloa, Big Island, Hawaii
Jan. 7, 2008 to Jan. 10, 2008
On September 5, 2006, a legal precedent was set for web accessibility. Federal judge Marilyn Patel sustained discrimination claims by the National Federation for the Blind against Target Corporation. She established that retailers must make their websites accessible to the blind under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Past research has indicated that eCommerce retailers have largely ignored W3C guidelines for making their sites accessible. This study examines web accessibility motivation under the lens of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). A model is developed linking accessibility behavior to a retailer's propensity to engage in CSR activities, the types of products and services sold, complexity of visual web content, and perceived threat of litigation resulting from an inaccessible site. Based on the model recommendations are suggested for future research. Thirty-two websites of the largest online retailers with a physical presence were analyzed using IBM's aDesigner accessibility tool for the three years before and one year since the commencement of the Target litigation. Results suggest that accessibility of sites has showed significant improvement since the Target case began.
J. Frank, "Web Accessibility for the Blind: Corporate Social Responsibility? or Litigation Avoidance?," Proceedings of the 41st Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS 2008)(HICSS), Waikoloa, Big Island, Hawaii, 2008, pp. 284.