Does your business have a website? Is it ADA accessible? If not, or if you’re unsure, you’ll find some solid help in this month’s blog post.
ADA Compliance Consultants has been helping landlords, tenants and their contractors identify and remove physical barriers within the built environment for over fifteen years. From a single accommodation restroom in a small coffee shop to a half a million-square foot shopping center, physical barriers that deny access to disabled customers and employees are everywhere!
A very disturbing trend …
So, when I started getting phone calls early last year from clients asking if I could help them get through an ADA lawsuit concerning their website, I became very concerned.
I started researching this rise in lawsuits concerning website accessibility and found a very disturbing trend.
What I found was that ADA website lawsuits are on the rise in California and no organization with an online presence is exempt. Even the State of California is being sued by a San Francisco blind organization. Several local news outlets including The Monterey Herald are reporting on the impact of ADA website lawsuits on businesses.
California businesses are required to have accessible websites under both federal law (the ADA) and state law (the Unruh Act). There is some controversy about whether internet-only businesses are covered by federal law but it would be a mistake for any business with a website to rely on technical arguments until the law is more settled – which could take years.
By the numbers …
- ADA web accessibility-related lawsuits exploded with a 181% increase in 2018 over 2017.
- In 2017, there were 814 cases
- In 2018, there were 2285 lawsuits filed.
Taking a look at data collected from the 2018 ADA Website lawsuit report, it’s clear why a local newspaper in California is covering the topic: companies in California made up 10% of all cases in 2018. But the impact is global. From 2018 to 2017 there was an 181% rise in website accessibility lawsuits and midyear 2019 data shows that 2019 may be another record breaking year.
Are you sitting down?
One Lawsuit every hour!
In 2019, the flow of ADA web related lawsuits has reached a rate of one lawsuit every working hour; that’s 8 a day, 40 a week and on pace for over 2,000 a year.
2019 is set to beat 2018 and rack up over 2,000 digital accessibility related lawsuits again
As I stated earlier, I work within the “physical built” environment not the “digital web” world. Even though ADA Compliance Consultants does not evaluate websites for accessibility features, I do want to provide valuable resources and links to get you going down the correct path to bringing accessibility to your website.
A great visual to illustrate what website accessibility looks like.
Ten steps you can take now to enhance your website’s accessibility.
One company that we have been referring is Level Access located in Vienna, VA
Another site I found to have great recourses is https://info.usablenet.com (links found on their website)
If you’ve already received an ADA website lawsuit or claim, we recommend the following:
If you are just learning about this topic and want an actionable checklist and best practices, download our free Web and App Accessibility: Your Roadmap to Web Accessibility Compliance e-Book.