Deaf woman's eBay complaint highlights dispute over Web access for disabled
Melissa Earll, of Nevada, Missouri, says she can't use eBay's seller-verification system because she is deaf.
January 10th, 2013
05:10 PM ET

Deaf woman's eBay complaint highlights dispute over Web access for disabled

By Doug Gross, CNN

(CNN) - Melissa Earll owns stacks of classic comic books, baseball cards that include a young Hank Aaron and Whitey Ford and other collectibles she wants to sell.

But she can't do so on eBay, she says. According to Earll, the popular auction site can't confirm her as a seller because she's deaf.

"eBay keeps me from taking advantage of opportunities that other people have and it's because I couldn't hear," Earll, of Nevada, Missouri, told CNN affiliate WDAF-TV. "Somebody has to have the courage to stand up and say 'this is not right.'"

At issue, according to Earll, is the way the auction site verifies sellers. eBay says it offered Earll alternative ways of verifying her identity. But the dispute casts a light on a bigger question that some experts say may need to go all the way to the Supreme Court: Just how responsive must the Internet be to the Americans With Disabilities Act?

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Filed under: Disabilities • Discrimination • How we live • Who we are
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Emptynest

    Something doesn't add up here. I buy and sell on ebay and I've never had to listen to any verifications. Is this something new or did I choose to get notifications via text or email instead of voice?

    January 14, 2013 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |

    I don't know what in the wrong with the world anymore . why can't someone with a disability use ebay. the lady can still see and walk. she should have all the rights to sell if she wants. I sell on ebay and need it to make ends meet. it is really hard for someone with disabilities to get a job. and this is a good way to make money. ebay needs to reconsider. I am in your corner. God Bless you and don't give up

    January 12, 2013 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |