Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Big companies line up against deaf woman to support eBay

eBay Logo
For three years we've been following the lawsuit filed again eBay by a deaf Missouri woman who claims the site is violating ADA law. Here's how it happened: All Melissa Earll wanted to do is sell some used books and memorabilia on the site. But Earll was not allowed to register as a seller because she is deaf. The company requires a phone in order to verify their identities. She spend a couple of months trying to work something out with eBay, but the company wouldn't accept any other verification--eBay refused to allow her to use a text message service. She sued in 2010, and you can read about the original lawsuit here and her appeal earlier this year here. Earll is asking the 9th Circuit to revive her case to revive her discrimination lawsuit but she's running into some big opposition. A group that represents Amazon, Facebook, Google, and other Internet companies called the Internet Association is lining up on the side of Ebay, claiming in court documents, these online commerce sites could be ruined if they are required to accommodate users with disabilities. The court filing claims “applying the ADA to all Web sites may place uncertain, conflicting, burdensome, and possibly ruinous obligations on members of The Internet Association.” The document goes on to say that making their sites ADA compliant is just too complicated to do.


Anonymous said...

I need more information on this. Does she have a vp number? Deaf people are allowed to have vp numbers for free. Or is it because she cannot afford cable/internet to set up vp? If she can't afford cable/internet, then she should text with phone number like AOL - of course you have to pay a fee for it. It is really sad that these companies put in a restriction for that.

deafredwagons said...

This is reprehensible!

Too complicated? USE SOME OF YOUR BILLIONS & BILLIONS of dollars in profits and figure it out!


Kimberly said...

If making their websites ADA compliant is sooo complicated and too hard for them to do....then maybe us deaf USERS of said sites need to boycott them. I know PLENTY of our hearing friends and family would also be happy to support us in our boycott. It is just an excuse by companies to make millions to save a couple of thousand dollars as par the course in our experiences. I, for one, would love to find out who these other internet companies are so that I may boycott their sites in the future.

Deaf Pixie said...

Anonymous, I am responsed to Anonymous.

Some of hard of hearing prefer to use TTY since they do not know how ASL. it is big problem with people at EBAY violated. but ADA failed to helped her out.