Of Law and Accessibility
It seems that Priceline.com and Ramada.com, following an investigation, and noticing the potential for lawsuits seeking enforcement of accessibility laws, have both undertaken efforts to make their sites more accessible.
Ramada.com and Priceline.com, which face no charges and make no admissions of guilt, will pay the state $40,000 and $37,500 to cover the investigation's cost. Spitzer said both firms were cooperative.
Let's see... $40k because of their table-laden sites are unnecessarily inaccessible. I'm sure that both companies have their own web development staff, but imagine if they had purchased this from a web design firm.
There's a potential lawsuit waiting to happen.
Update 1: Potential
To two big sites, $74k is "pocket change." The real potential is that future plaintiffs might be able to use the results of the investigation against Priceline or Ramada. There the sums might not be nearly so insignificant.
This might also open the door for potential litigation against other sites by groups with the backing of do-gooder attorneys.
Lastly, I don't know if I can make the point enough, this was $74k simply because they couldn't do things right the first time. I wonder how much their risk assessers would like to hear that.
Update 2: Accessible travel sites
Kapuni.com is a British travel site which is conforms to web standards and is 100% accessible.
For fun, I've linked the accessibility results of several other sites: