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Jorge Pacheco
By
September 29, 2020

Will the increased online activity during COVID19 rise website accessibility lawsuits?

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The COVID19 pandemic has forced most people to either shelter in place or severely limit their outdoors activities. This has pushed people to spend more time online than ever before… And, as a result, website accessibility lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act are expected to sharply increase.

 

There is a lot of confusion when it comes to making a website ADA compliant because there is not a specific law that requires it and the DOJ has left it up to each court circuit to decide whether a website needs to be compliant. Since there is not a law, courts are using WCAG guidelines to force businesses that have non-compliant website to follow that set of rules.

 

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Are some businesses more at risk than others?

Our thought is that all websites should be accessible, not because of the risk of getting sued, but because it is the right thing to do. In terms of which businesses should be on the alert, online retailers should be very aware that if their websites have barriers to accessibility, it may be only a matter of time before they receive a demand, or get sued, from a disabled customer who cannot use their website. Restaurants, hotels, doctors and dentist practices and any other business that has direct contact with the consumer should also make sure their websites are compliant. Customers who were previously willing to ignore accessibility issues because they could just visit a physical location may no longer have that option due to shut-downs, stay-at-home orders, or simply new customer preferences for contactless purchasing options.

 

If you don’t know where to start, contact your webmaster and start implementing the commonly accepted standards of accessibility, such as WCAG 2.0 or 2.1, and seek legal counsel for assistance with accessibility policies if they receive a demand letter or are sued.

 

ADA compliance is more relevant now than ever, and having an accessible website with an inclusive design approach will greatly benefit your business. Implementing an ADA compliant website can be a daunting task but, if done right, it can be achieved. In case you find Accessibility check and ADA compliance difficult then we are here to help you. We can help you audit your website and point out the area of improvement to be ADA compliant and help you become a social responsible business owner.

 

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