On August 19, legally blind plaintiff Himelda Mendez filed a lawsuit against Apple, alleging an inability to navigate Apple’s site due to multiple WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) violations. One noted infraction was the absence of alternative text on images and links. As many visually impaired individuals use a screen reader to navigate websites, missing “alt-text” poses a huge barrier to site accessibility–screen readers are only as helpful as the text they can find to read.
Apple has been a long-standing proponent of accessibility practices; its products are all intentionally designed to be used by people with a wide range of physical abilities. If Mendez’s claim turns out to be accurate, this lawsuit could tarnish its sterling brand and discredit its many advances in the field of accessible technology.