ADA Website Compliance

We have seen a boom in the filing of complaints (and before that, receipt of demand letters) related to lack of ADA compliance on our clients’ websites.

Most of the action seems to be coming out of three states, with New York, California and Florida leading the way, in that order. One New York Case that has received a great deal of attention is the Blick Art Materials case.

Quite a few complaints are based on the fact that many online services can be treated as “public accommodations”, and the ADA protects the rights of physically impaired to receive such services at the same level and quality as everyone else. That’s why entities that provide extra services on their websites that are not available through channels other than online resources will most likely be facing legal claims. That is if their website does not conform to WCAG 2.1 (or to Section 508 for state and government agencies) and has issues that limit impaired people’s capabilities to have full access to the site.

Most cases end with a settlement agreement between two parties. The agreement may or may not have a requirement to pay a certain amount in damages, but in all cases, the defendant has to ensure its website will be accessible to all individuals by a certain date. Our estimate on average settlement value is in the range of $12,000 prior to a suit being filed, and $20,000 thereafter, plus agreements around remediation.

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