Is a website a public accommodation? Thirty years after lawmakers signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), courts have yet to come to a consensus on how or whether it applies to websites. The people who created the ADA in 1990 never have envisioned the integral role websites play in commerce and in everyday life. In 1990 the internet had barely been invented. With proper coding, assistive technology can easily access websites. But many websites fail to make that accessible… Continue Reading 11th Circuit Court Dissent Won’t Prevent Accessibility Lawsuits
If you have a website, California’s Unruh Act AND ADA Title III affect you. You could face lawsuits under both the Unruh Act and the ADA Title III if a California resident can’t access information on your website. California is second only to New York for ADA Title III lawsuits, comprising more than 25% of the 3550 cases in 2020. One contributing factor is the Unruh Act, which is a California state accessibility law prohibiting discrimination against state residents, imposes… Continue Reading How do ADA Title III and California’s Unruh Act affect your website?
Florida is third in the country for ADA Title III lawsuits, following only New York and California as part of the 3550 cases in 2020. The state is part of the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, which ruled in 2018 that websites with a nexus to physical places of public accommodations are subject to the same anti-discrimination laws. Florida state human rights laws also allow plaintiffs to recover up to $10,000 in damages by adding state-level claims… Continue Reading Avoid Florida’s Deluge of ADA Title III Digital Lawsuits
As COVID ebbs and flows through the end of a tumultuous 2020, reliance on the internet for everything from shopping to learning to entertainment increases exponentially. Second-quarter court shutdowns reduced the number of digital accessibility lawsuits in April, May, and part of June. However, the end of the year saw a rebound ending with a record-setting December. Much of that increase may have been due to the fact that while everything was shut down people turned to the internet. Even… Continue Reading The End of a Rough Year: Q4 2020 Digital Accessibility Lawsuits
Ten years ago, Donna Jodhan filed a digital accessibility lawsuit against the federal government of Canada. She had been unable to independently apply for a job on its website using her assistive technology. Since her landmark victory in that case, Canada has been working towards increased accessibility in both physical and digital environments. Ontario has been particularly progressive in this regard, legislating the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). The AODA is a mandate to create and enforce accessibility… Continue Reading Updated AODA Deadlines: What’s Changed and What Hasn’t
Online Accessibility Act On October 2, 2020, Congressmen Lou Correa (D-CA) and Ted Budd (R-NC) introduced a bill called the Online Accessibility Act. This legislation provides direction on website accessibility. It proposes the development of regulations, along with a new procedure for handling complaints about non-compliance. It aims to reduce the number of accessibility lawsuits that have been rising annually. While fewer lawsuits and clear regulations sound appealing, this legislation is not all good news for people with disabilities. How… Continue Reading Online Accessibility Act – Yea or Nay?
Third quarter accessibility lawsuits have been on the rise, despite the dramatic drop earlier this summer. At first glance, the Q2 decrease in digital accessibility lawsuits looked like a good indication that the transition from in-person to online was going well. Unfortunately, the decrease happened in April and May, when COVID closed many physical businesses- including courts and lawyers’ offices. In their haste to switch to a digital platform, many companies forgot to consider accessibility. Switching to an online format… Continue Reading Equidox Accessibility Pulse: Third Quarter Accessibility Lawsuits
With more and more people working, shopping, and enjoying entertainment remotely from the comfort and safety of their own homes, it’s more important than ever to make sure all websites and digital resources are available to all users. Failing to make resources accessible isn’t just inconvenient to assistive technology users. It prevents them from working, learning, connecting with friends and family, shopping, and accessing virtual healthcare. Failing to provide an accessible website is also against the law, and can result… Continue Reading Equidox Accessibility Pulse: Accessibility Lawsuits April 2020
Case Against OCR Settled In February of 2020, the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) settled a case against the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Education (DOE). The plaintiffs had claimed that the OCR had failed to fulfill its stated mission to investigate discrimination claims. The changes to the procedure manual allowed them to automatically dismiss OCR complaints… Continue Reading OCR Settles Case Regarding Dismissed Accessibility Complaints
2019 Accessibility Lawsuits More than 2,000 digital accessibility lawsuits were filed in 2019, matching the number filed in 2018. 2020 does not appear to be giving any relief from these legal actions. Looking back at the previous year, there are lessons to be learned about how people are affected when any industry fails to make its digital resources accessible. Like all of us, people with disabilities use the internet to access products and services. When their access is blocked, requests… Continue Reading Equidox Accessibility Pulse – Accessibility Lawsuits January 2020