ADA Website Accessibility Lawsuits
We are living in the age of technology and it seems that with every new day comes a new technological advancement. The headlines are exciting to see; however, the negative impact of these technological advancements, especially in the world of digital media and marketing, is that the rules and regulations regarding technology are changing quickly, and if you do not comply you can leave yourself vulnerable to becoming a headline yourself.
In recent years, web accessibility standards and ADA compliance have become increasingly important to ensure that all users, including those with disabilities, are able to navigate websites just as they might navigate a physical storefront or building. There has been movement in the world of website design and development that is enabling more and more users to find the right information and interact with websites through ADA compliance and web accessibility standards. This is very important as a large population of Americans (1 in 5) lives with a disability.
Website Accessibility Lawsuits
In November of 2018, one blind resident in Brooklyn, NY made headlines when he filed website accessibility lawsuits against 50 different colleges. These website ADA compliance lawsuits were filed because, while using assistive technology called a screens reader, which helps users with audio and or visual impairments, this gentleman was unable to access information and “experienced barriers” while navigating throughout the college’s websites. Having fifty different ADA website lawsuit cases filed by one man might seem excessive, but this was just the beginning of creating an inclusive environment online.
In 2018, New York state alone had 110 class action ADA website compliant lawsuits filed as a result of users experiencing issues accessing information online. This may not seem like a large number, but 71% of those 110 ADA website lawsuits were filed in June alone. Across the U.S., there were 814 web accessibility lawsuits filed in 2017; whereas in the first half of 2018, there were 1054 web accessibility lawsuits filed. As you can see, the number of ADA lawsuits seems to be climbing year over year.
The primary reason for these lawsuits is not necessarily focused on compensation but rather the creation of an online digital world that is accessible to all. Most of these website accessibility lawsuit settlements result a guilty charge and the institutions or organizations are liable for not adhering to the proper ADA website accessibility standards. As a result, they then need to have their entire online platform audited, processed, and updated within a set period of time in order to comply to all ADA compliant rules and regulations. This is an expensive proposition for most companies. Not only do they have to take on the expense of correcting the issues, they also must pay for their legal costs incurred and any fines that may have come with the guilty verdict.
Creating an ADA compliant website should be a priority for any business – but don’t let the requirements overwhelm you. Contact us today and we’ll help you get your site on track to becoming ADA compliant.