AceShowbiz - Beyonce Knowles has got in trouble with a blind woman. The "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" hitmaker found herself dragged in a class-action lawsuit as Mary Conner sued her management company, Parkwood Entertainment, for the limited accessibility of her official website, Beyonce.com.
Conner filed the lawsuit in a Brooklyn, New York Court on January 3, per The Hollywood Reporter. In her filing, the woman, who claimed to have "no vision whatsoever," accused Parkwood Entertainment of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by not providing visually impaired individuals with independent access to the website.
Conner's lawyer, Dan Shaked, noted that the woman encountered numerous barriers due to her limitation. One in particular involved her trying "to make an online purchase of the Holidayonce Embroidered Pullover Hoodie." Without someone verbally describing the web interface to her, she was unable to complete the transaction.
"Web accessibility requires that alt-text be coded with each picture so that a screen-reader can speak the alternative text while sighted users see the picture," Shaked elaborated. "There are many important pictures on Beyonce.com that lack a text equivalent. As a result, Plaintiff and blind Beyonce.com customers are unable to determine what is on the website, browse the website or investigate and/or make purchases."
Shaked also pointed out in the lawsuit that Beyonce.com lacks "prompting information and accommodations necessary to allow blind shoppers who use screen-readers to locate and accurately fill-out online forms," "accessible drop-down menus" and "accessible image maps."
Despite the accusation, Shaked stated in the suit that Conner "has been a big fan of Beyonce for many years." He claimed that the woman "regularly listens to and is familiar with many" of the "Freedom" singer's songs. Shaked added that she "dreams of attending a Beyonce concert and listening to her music in a live setting."
Through the lawsuit, Conner demanded that Parkwood Entertainment implements all necessary software so that Beyonce.com is "readily accessible to and usable by blind individuals." She is also seeking compensation for damages and coverage for legal fees.