At The Podium
ADA Website Accessibility Lawsuits on the Rise
Last year, plaintiffs filed over 800 federal lawsuits — many of which were filed as class actions — in which they alleged businesses were violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by not providing websites that were accessible to disabled individuals and, in particular, those with visual or hearing impairments. While the ADA does not specifically mention websites, since 2003 the U.S. Department has taken the stance that the websites of certain companies – namely, those that are considered “places of public accommodation” under Title III of the ADA – must be accessible for disabled persons.
In her presentation titled “ADA Website Accessibility Lawsuits on the Rise” at the 2018 South West Transit Association’s Summer University: Freedom Through Transit Conference, McAfee & Taft labor and employment attorney Elizabeth Bowersox discusses this new trend in ADA litigation and explains what public transit providers and other places of public accommodation should be doing to make their websites more accessible to those with impairments.
- How Title III of the ADA defines “places of public accommodation”
- Common barriers to website accessibility
- The guidelines you should consider following in the absence of any formal rule-making from the DOJ
- A review of recent website accessibility lawsuits and potential future developments
- Advice for making websites more accessible
The South West Transit Association (SWTA) is a regional transit association formed in 1979 to represent transit operators and others interested in public transit issues in the states of Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.