Digital Accessibility Landscape Q2 2020
We actively track website accessibility lawsuits nationwide providing our attorney and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) partners with information as it pertains to website accessibility complaints and compliance. We encourage at-risk clients with a publicly available website to proceed with a digital accessibility inspection. Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information or a website accessibility consultation.
Provided regularly, this is an opportunity to understand the digital accessibility landscape, how this applies to the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other considerations when advising clients proactively or reactively to a complaint.
Provided below are the insights we shared earlier this week:
- In May, there were estimated over two-hundred-fifteen website accessibility complaints filed nationwide. Complaints are up 10% year over year. We anticipate this is due to the added reliance on digital information over the past few months. May 21st was Global Digital Accessibility Awareness day, and tech-organizations world-wide shared their commitment to accommodating customers with disabilities. Most notably, Apple featured stories in the Apple Store about developers who build iOS applications to help people with disabilities.
- Twitter announced an enhancement that would further accommodate users with disabilities, activating image descriptors, and alternative text features for all users. Fast Company revealed in an article last week the importance of digital accessibility and the lack of access to vital services that a majority of websites serve up for users with auditory and visual disabilities, the elderly, and other at-risk groups.
- In the article provided by Eversheds Sutherland LLP, websites have been interpreted by litigants as needing public accommodation. Nearly thirty years later, ADA has yet to give any formal guidance on the application to websites. While companies wait for direction, plaintiffs have filed ADA class action lawsuits.
- Due to the pandemic, website owners should be aware that if their websites have barriers to accessibility, it may be only a matter of time before they receive a demand, or get sued, from a disabled customer who cannot use their website. McAfee & Taft include in their article that website accessibility lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act are expected to increase sharply.
- Snell & Wilmer further detail within their report how Title III within ADA has applied to website accessibility complaints. According to Law.com, 10,000 website accessibility lawsuits were filed pre-pandemic! The Rocky Mountain ADA Center continues to offer free training detailing the importance of accessible social media. The course covers how to make social media content more accessible to everyone and why it’s worth doing.
Since 2017, biz.builders have partnered with compliance specialists, attorneys, business managers, and entrepreneurs to navigate compliance guidelines and regulations in the online environment, inspecting hundreds of websites in the process. Their combined expertise includes a vast portfolio of technical developers whose specialty includes online accessibility compliance guidelines.
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