Consumer Fraud Suit Against Basically Bows

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Basically Bows and Bowties, LLC Accused of Disability Discrimination: A Call to Action for Affected Consumers

Imagine being unable to browse and purchase products from your favorite online store simply because it's not accessible to your disability. This is the reality for visually impaired individuals trying to access Basically Bows and Bowties, LLC's website, https://www.basicallybows.com. In a recent class action lawsuit, Tonimarie Rhone, a visually impaired individual, is taking a stand against the company's alleged failure to provide an accessible website, violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and New York state laws.

Disability Discrimination

The lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of New York, highlights the plight of approximately 8.1 million visually impaired individuals in the US, including 2 million who are blind, and the 400,000 visually impaired persons residing in New York. These individuals face significant barriers when trying to access Basicallybows.com, preventing them from completing transactions and enjoying the same goods and services as their non-disabled counterparts.

Website Barriers

The lawsuit alleges that Basicallybows.com contains numerous accessibility barriers, including:

1. Lack of alt-text for images, making it impossible for screen-reading software to describe the content to visually impaired users.

2. Inability to navigate the website using a keyboard, forcing users to rely on mouse navigation, which can be difficult or impossible for those with visual impairments.

3. Image maps that are not accessible to screen-reading software, preventing visually impaired users from understanding the content and navigating the website.

4. Insufficient heading structure, making it difficult for screen-reading software to properly convey the website's layout and content.

Accessibility Standards

The World Wide Web Consortium's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1) provide basic components for making websites accessible to visually impaired individuals. These guidelines include providing alt-text, keyboard navigation, image map accessibility, and heading structure. By failing to implement these standards, Basically Bows and Bowties denies visually impaired consumers equal access to their products and services.

Legal Violations

The lawsuit alleges that Basically Bows and Bowties' failure to provide an accessible website violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and New York state laws requiring businesses to ensure access to goods, services, and facilities by making reasonable accommodations for disabled persons. The ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodations, and telecommunications.

Venue

The Southern District of New York has subject matter jurisdiction over the case based on the ADA and New York state human rights law. Venue is appropriate in the Southern District since the defendants conduct business in the area and target New York State residents.

Relief Sought

Plaintiff Rhone is seeking a permanent injunction compelling Basically Bows and Bowties to change their policies, practices, and procedures to make their website accessible to blind and visually impaired consumers. Additionally, the plaintiff is seeking compensation for injured parties.

Conclusion

The lawsuit against Basically Bows and Bowties, LLC serves as a reminder that all businesses, including online retailers, have a legal and moral obligation to ensure their websites are accessible to all consumers, regardless of their abilities. It's time for companies to recognize that accessibility is not a luxury, but a basic human right.

If you or someone you know has been affected by Basically Bows and Bowties' inaccessible website, we encourage you to file a claim with us. Together, we can make a difference and ensure that all consumers have equal access to goods and services. Contact us today to learn more about your legal options.

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