Last week online-only retailer Newegg.com announced that it had made its site fully accessible to users with disabilities and was recognized as accessible by the National Federation of the Blind. Why is this noteworthy? Because Newegg did this voluntarily, not as the result of litigation.
Dr. Marc Maurer, president of the organization, said: "The National Federation of the Blind is pleased that Newegg.com is setting an example for the industry by providing an unprecedented level of access to its website for blind shoppers. We are pleased to award Newegg.com our gold level Nonvisual Accessibility Web Certification, which has never before been achieved by an online retailer."
The improvements and enhancements NewEgg made for the visually impaired include the implementation of special software programs that allow users with sight issues to navigate the site quickly and easily. Changes include an advanced Screen Access program and a specially designed magnification program that allows users to choose multiple settings to adjust size, font color and other visual attributes that can improve the online shopping experience for the visually impaired.
"Newegg.com is fiercely committed to making our customer experience the very best it can possibly be for all our users -- and that includes the more than 11.3 million Americans who live with vision-related disabilities,” said Newegg's vice president of marketing and merchandising, Bernard Luthi.
The NFB's Nonvisual Accessibility Web Certification Program (NFB-NVA) is conducted in partnership with software company Deque. The program brings Internet companies and developers together with leading experts in the field of web accessibility for the blind to ensure equal access, including equal transaction speeds, for the visually impaired.