"Accessible Design is Good Design"
-Steve Ballmer former CEO of Microsoft

Is Your Businesses Website Susceptible to Lawsuits and Ligation?

 

  • Lawsuits are mounting and are expected to increase

  • The Department of Justice has backed ADA Website Lawsuits

  • $6,000,000 was the Settlement Cost of a Recent Case

  • $50,000+ is the Average Legal Cost to Small Businesses

  • 37% was the Increase in ADA Title III Lawsuits Filed 2016

Is Your Businesses Website Susceptible to Lawsuits and Ligation?

  • Lawsuits are mounting and are expected to increase
  • The Department of Justice has backed ADA Website Lawsuits
  • $6,000,000 was the Settlement Cost of a Recent Case
  • $50,000+ is the Average Legal Cost to Small Businesses
  • 37% was the Increase in ADA Title III Lawsuits Filed 2016

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Requires That Your Website Is Accessible to People with Disabilities.

How Do People With Disabilities Use My Website?

HEARING IMPAIRED

Anything That Can Be Heard (Videos, Sound Bites, etc.) Must Have a Written Description.

VISUALLY IMPAIRED

Screen Reader Software Audibly Reads the Visual Parts of Your Website. Items Such as Pictures and Buttons Must Have Descriptions Added in the Code.

PHYSICALLY IMPAIRED

If Unable to Use a Mouse, Website Navigation Must be Possible Using 100s of Keyboard Shortcuts. Such as, Page Up and Page Down.

ADA SITE COMPLIANCE
IN THE NEWS

quotes    ...disability advocates have for years been suing thousands of small business owners - and forcing expensive settlements..."

-Sun Sentinel      ...read more

quotes    ...businesses should consider reviewing their websites and documenting reasonable efforts to make the sites accessible to the disabled..."

-LinkedIn     ...read more

quotes    ...an increasing number of companies have faced lawsuits...alleging their websites violate the Americans with Disabilities Act..."

-Forbes      ...read more

DOES MY WEBSITE
HAVE TO BE COMPLIANT?

ALL WEBSITES MUST BE COMPLIANT WITH THE LAWS GOVERNING THE ADA

 

Recent negative court rulings against businesses have opened the floodgates of "Surf-By" website compliance lawsuits.  The ripple effect has begun and the title wave of litigation is fast approaching.

CautionSolid

IS YOUR WEBSITE DESIGNER A WEBSITE COMPLIANCE EXPERT?

If they are...Great!  Then your website is compliant, accessible and usable by all.  You may exit this website immediately.  However, you're here for a reason...

 

DO YOU THINK YOUR WEBSITE DESIGNER IS A WEBSITE COMPLIANCE EXPERT?


Do you think your website designer is a website compliance expert?

If they are… Great! Then your website is compliant, accessible, and usable by all. You may exit this website immediately!

However, you’re here for a reason. Is your designer telling you that your site is compliant and you want reassurance? Is the threat of a potential lawsuit keeping you up at night?

We can help you with this at a relatively low cost. Click Here and purchase the Accessibility Advisor plan for $499. We will have results for you within 3 business days and provide 2 hours of expert consulting. In addition, this plan provides features to help protect your website; our expert consultant will provide more detail.

If you know that your designer is NOT AN EXPERT in website compliance, and you don’t want to be sued. We can also help you with this. Click Here to speak with a website compliance expert.

WHAT IS ADA WEBSITE COMPLIANCE?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates by federal law that your website is compliant for...

 

WHAT IS ADA WEBSITE COMPLIANCE?


The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates by federal law that your website is compliant for use by the 20% of the population with disabilities. This includes giving vision, hearing and physically impaired individuals the ability to navigate and interact with your website.

More than 1 billion people live with disabilities; over 57 million reside in the United States, many of whom are unable to participate in everyday activities, such as using computers, mobile phones, tablets, and similar technologies. Devices that should help to improve quality of life for disabled individuals often become a source of frustration due to the inaccessibility of websites. By making your website ADA compliant, you will gain a new and loyal revenue source, and minimize the possibility of legal action against your company.

HAVE THERE BEEN LAWSUITS FOR WEBSITES NOT BEING COMPLIANT?

Many companies have received lawsuits and demand letters and it is becoming more...

 

HAVE THERE BEEN LAWSUITS FOR WEBSITES NOT BEING COMPLIANT?

Many companies have received lawsuits and demand letters, and it is becoming more frequent. It is extremely expensive to hire an attorney and pay associated fees and costs; this is only to defend your business. There are many additional costs. Recent Well Publicized Settlements:



An example is Patagonia Works, Inc. which had a complaint for a permanent injunction filed against it in the United States District Court stating, Under Section 302(b)(1) of Title III of the ADA, it is unlawful discrimination to deny individuals with disabilities an opportunity to participate in or benefit from the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages or accommodations, which is equal to the opportunities afforded to other individuals. 42 U.S.C. 12182 (b)(1)(A)(ii). Below is a summary of what the lawyers asked the court for.

Permanent injunction requiring a change in corporate polices to cause Defendant’s website to become, and remain, accessible Noted was that “The ADA expressly contemplates the type of injunctive relief that the Plaintiffs seek in this action.” The Plaintiff’s lawyers stated that “Because Defendant’s Website has never been accessible and because Defendant does not have, and has never had, a corporate policy that is reasonably calculated to cause its Website to become and remain accessible”. Therefor the Court should require that the Plaintiff accept who the Defendant will use to “assist it in improving the accessibility of its Website”, “ensure that all employees involved in website development and content development be given training”, “Consultant to perform an automated accessibility audit on a periodic basis to evaluate if the Defendant’s Website continues to comply”, “Consultant to perform end-user accessibility/usability testing on a periodic basis”, “Consultant to create an accessibility policy”. Although the Lawyers asked the Court for the above, and it would be extremely time consuming and expensive for the Defendant, the very last part of the Complaint was what the Lawyers were after. Here is what the Lawyers asked the Court for:

  • Payment of costs of suit;
  • Payment of reasonable attorney’s fees, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 12205 and 28 CFR 36.505; and,
  • The provision of whatever other relief the court deems just, equitable and appropriate.

The fees, costs and site mitigation associated with this Complaint for Permanent Injunction will likely cost Patagonia Works well over $100,000. This does not include the actual time that owners and managers, and additional employees had to invest.

Damages could be exponentially higher – provisions allow for up to $4,000 for each and every visit to the website or deterred visit.


You must be proactive to potentially avoid spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, along with the cost of reputational damage perpetuated via traditional and social media. ADA Site Compliance can help you mitigate website compliance issues and provide a new revenue stream and significant goodwill.

Website mitigation often leads to “cleaned up code”, improving server load speeds and boosting Search Engine Optimization.

Website must be materially compliant; meaning that if the majority of the site is compliant, a few errors will not render the entire site noncompliant.

The Department of Justice has made clear statements, including in its findings against Harvard and MIT, that the Americans with Disabilities Act covers websites.

HOW IS THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT ENFORCED?

Through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), our nation committed itself to eliminating discrimination against people with disabilities. The U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ)...

 

HOW IS THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT ENFORCED?



Through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), our nation committed itself to eliminating discrimination against people with disabilities. The U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Civil Rights Division is proud to play a critical role in enforcing the ADA, working towards a future in which all the doors are open to equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, integration and economic self-sufficiency for persons with disabilities.

The Department of Justice enforces the ADA through:
  • Complaints
  • Lawsuits
  • Consent Decrees
  • Settlement Agreements
  • Mediation


In Andrea Billups' article, she discusses activities of enforcement by the Justice Department:

The Justice Department has announced that it will intervene in a private lawsuit filed against national tax preparation firm H&R Block, saying its website does not allow sufficient access for people with disabilities.

The department's motion filed against Block subsidiaries HRB Digital and HRB Tax Group, says the company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, which the Justice Department has ruled applies to websites.

The Justice Department, in making its motion to intervene in the case, says the website "prevents some people with disabilities from completing even the most basic activities on the site."

"The United States demands that H&R Block is fined a penalty to 'vindicate the public interest' and to award money to the individuals who sued the company. The ADA prohibits discrimination of disability by public accommodations in the 'full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages and accommodations,'" the Justice Department said in joining the lawsuit.

"Defendants have failed to ensure that [the website] permits accurate and effective communication of the website's information using, among others, screen-reader software programs, refreshable Braille displays, captioning, and keyboard navigation," the DOJ's complaint reads.

The department is seeking a court order in its proposed complaint that makes sure H&R Block's website provides equal accessibility. It is also seeking monetary damages, noting that by joining the suit, the DOJ "directly implicates the United States' obligation to enforce the ADA and its interest in ending disability discrimination."

WHAT IF WE UPDATE OUR WEBSITE OR THE LAWS CHANGE?

Your company's website must remain accessible and ADA Compliant.  The DOJ is currently reviewing...

 

WHAT IF WE MAKE CHANGES TO OUR WEBSITE OR THE LAWS CHANGE?



Your company’s website must remain accessible and ADA compliant, The DOJ is currently reviewing an updated spec of Tittle III. Even if you do not often make changes to your website, any change in current regulations can affect compliance.

As laws, regulations and the political climate changes, remaining compliant is your responsibility. ADA Site Compliance offers detailed daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly reporting and mitigation options.

 ARE THERE ADDITIONAL BENEFITS TO MAKING MY WEBSITE ACCESSIBLE

An accessible and ADA compliant website has the potential to increase your sales by over 20%. The market segment of persons with a disability are very loyal to businesses that...

 

ARE THERE ADDITIONAL BENEFITS TO MAKING MY WEBSITE ACCESSIBLE?



An accessible and ADA compliant website has the potential to increase your sales by over 20%. The market segment of persons with a disability are very loyal to businesses and websites that make legitimate efforts to increase their quality of life. Your businesses social media presence can also be improved as visitors share their favorable interactions with your businesses. Offering your business a significant and fiercely loyal revenue stream.

On the flip side, imagine the damage to your business’s reputation if you are sued due to your website not being accessible to persons with disabilities. Social media creates an environment where compliance issues can go viral. Your business cannot afford this negative publicity, we help prevent it.

HOW CAN BEING PROACTIVE SAVE/MAKE ME MONEY?

Lawyer's fees, court costs, fines, and settlement costs are extremely expensive. We can help you avoid these cost with implementation of a website mitigation plan. While simultaneously opening a new revenue source...

 

HOW CAN BEING PROACTIVE SAVE/MAKE ME MONEY?



Lawyer’s fees, court costs, fines, and settlement costs are extremely expensive. We can help you avoid these costs with implementation of a website mitigation plan. While simultaneously opening a new revenue source of disabled individuals who otherwise may be unable to use your website.

Jim Butler wrote in his article:

My partner Marty Orlick, who heads JMBM's ADA compliance and defense team, has defended more than 500 ADA claims all over the country. Marty warns that we may be about to see a tidal wave of Cyber Accessibility claims.

Why could there be a big slug of these ADA lawsuits over websites? Marty says that there are several reasons:

  1. First, these lawsuits will be very easy for plaintiffs to work up. The plaintiffs do not need any site inspection, experts or research. They can just surf the web from the convenience of their homes or offices. Marty says the "surf by" complaints could dwarf the "drive by" ADA lawsuits that looked for missing accessible parking spaces and other readily visible shortcomings.
  2. Second, some owners and operators have not been paying enough attention to this issue. They have had their attention elsewhere, such as on operating fundamentals, labor costs and ADA pool lift requirements.
  3. Both the DOJ and private plaintiffs have had tremendous success with website accessibility lawsuits under the ADA (see the discussion below and related articles about the Hilton International consent decree and the Charles Schwab class action case), and they are growing impatient for compliance.
  4. In addition, a lack of clear industry standards and misinformed marketing staff have lulled some into thinking they are already in compliance when that is not so.
  5. Finally, some owners and operators have not recognized ADA compliance for the high priority it demands. They have not appreciated how costly ADA litigation and defense can be, and how compliance is so much cheaper than defense.
The landscape of disabled access litigation related to online services has significantly changed and expanded over the past decade. Initially, the internet was an area of little concern as courts uniformly held that the ADA applied to "brick and mortar" facilities, not to cyberspace. This has changed and online accessibility is presently, and will continue to be, an area of significant investigation and litigation.

HOW DO I MAKE MY WEBSITE COMPLIANT?

At ADA Site Compliance, we are committed to helping you with mitigating website compliance issues.

 

HOW DO I MAKE MY WEBSITE COMPLIANT?



ADA Site Compliance is committed to helping you with mitigating website compliance issues.

Our team of experienced experts utilizes knowledge and proprietary technology to provide extensive detailed reports on what compliance issues exist on your business’s website. If you have a trusted developer to work on your website, you can have them make the needed updates and changes. Don’t have a developer? ADA Site Compliance offers a custom, managed compliance solution for businesses of all sizes. Our in-house developers will analyze, remediate and monitor your site’s ADA compliance for you.

You must have a compliance plan in place, showing that your business is making an effort to have a fully accessible site. We can provide you with this.

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