So you spent money on developing a fancy website for your business, but is it accessible to the disabled?

If it isn’t, you are at significant risk of being sued by enterprising plaintiffs’ attorneys. 

The inception of the American with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) has spawned a tremendous amount of litigation. Over the past few years, however, Plaintiff’s attorneys have developed a cottage industry of sorts by filing thousands of lawsuits alleging that company websites that are not “accessible” to the disabled are in violation of the ADA.

This obscure area of the law could result in huge damages.

The Department of Justice has provided guidelines that repeatedly suggest websites must be accessible to disabled persons.

Those guidelines are based on 4 principals. 

  1. Websites must be perceivable (users must be able to perceive the information being presented)
  2. Websites must be operable (users must be able to operate the interface)
  3. Websites must be understandable (users must be able to understand the information) 
  4. Websites must be robust (users must be able to access the content as technologies advance). In more simple terms, this means that website content must be coded so that screen-reading software can convert the words to an audio translation; videos must include descriptions for the deaf, and interactive functions must be operable through keyboard commands for those that can’t use a mouse. 

Until the legislature acts and reigns in this quagmire, companies should immediately consider rebuilding their websites to be ADA-compliant.

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