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Website Accessibility Lawsuits on the Rise

Website Accessibility Lawsuits on the Rise

Website accessibility laws have evolved over the past decade, inundating courts with lawsuits filed by individuals with disabilities—typically those with sight or hearing impairments—claiming that businesses’ websites are not accessible to them. While Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act does not mention websites or mobile apps, many lawsuits are based on the requirement that “places of public accommodation” provide individuals with disabilities “equal access” to goods, services and facilities.

The frequency of these claims increased 64% in the first half of 2021 from a year earlier, according to a recent report. Companies with revenue below $50 million were the targets of two-thirds of those lawsuits.

Companies can ensure their website is accessible by:

  • Conducting a website audit. This process can ensure a website complies with current industry standards and should include a manual, live-person audit to identify potential access barriers.
  • Addressing and correcting any accessibility issues. Corrections may include color contrast adjustments, alternative text for images or captions for videos.
  • Adopting and maintaining a policy to ensure the website remains accessible. Periodic audits, testing by persons with disabilities and accessibility training for webpage and content developers can help a website remain accessible to all users.
  • Adding an accessibility statement. The statement should provide a reliable method, such as a telephone number or email address, for users to contact the company should any accessibility issues arise.

Digital inclusion is not only important for corporate liability, but is also vital for participation, diversity and civil rights. For more information, contact us today.

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