Web Accessibility

Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act requires all “places of public accommodation” to provide access to disabled individuals. This is not limited to physical locations. Websites, mobile applications and other digital platforms are often within the scope of the ADA. An accessible website or mobile app is one that can be navigated and used successfully by people with disabilities, including blind, low vision, deaf, hearing impaired, motor impaired and cognitively impaired individuals.

Increasingly, businesses of all types and sizes are being targeted by web accessibility lawsuits.  Too often, this is how a business first learns they may have a web accessibility issue. We regularly represent clients in defending web accessibility litigation and responding to demand letters. Our knowledge of the legal, technical and commercial aspects of web and digital accessibility allows us to develop a well-informed, pragmatic and cost-effective defense strategy.  We work with clients to evaluate the plaintiff’s case both technically and legally, make tactical decisions in responding to these claims, determine whether and when to settle or litigate aggressively, and control the cost and burden of settlement and remediation.

Companies are in a better position when web accessibility compliance is addressed proactively – well before any litigation. Web accessibility compliance projects can be complex and it is preferable to budget, plan and implement accessibility outside of the litigation context. A compliance plan needs to take into account decision about whether and how to remediate and when the site can be replaced with one that is “accessible by design”; legal compliance review; staffing; testing; training; and maintain accessibility over time, among other things. It is preferable. In our experience, substantial and appropriate efforts at web accessibility compliance render companies less vulnerable to demand letters and litigation.

We work seamlessly with leading technical experts and consultants, in the U.S. and elsewhere, to evaluate client websites and mobile applications, plan and implement a web and digital accessibility strategies and projects – all while keeping legal compliance in focus. We have the relevant technical knowledge to understand the “nuts and bolts” of website remediation and redevelopment, which can be invaluable in ensuring that the project is both cost-effective and meets compliance standards.

Laws beyond Title III of the ADA may come into play. Employee intranets and jobs sites for potential employees fall under Title I of the ADA. Government contractors are covered by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Regulated industries may be subject to specific laws and regulations with differing requirements and penalties (e.g., airlines and travel businesses fall under the ambit of FAA regulations). We have worked with clients in a variety of industries, and can readily assist with special circumstances. Other jurisdictions need to be considered as well.

The regulatory landscape for web accessibility under the ADA is highly unsettled. The ADA was written in a “brick-and-mortar” world and attempts to enact web accessibility regulations have been never been completed. Proposed regulations have now been moved to the “Inactive List.” This can cause a great deal of uncertainty for companies seeking to comply with the ADA. There is a generally accepted technical standard for web accessibility promulgated by the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) – WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 2.0 Level AA. This has been treated as a de facto legal standard, despite the lack of clear legislative or regulatory authority for doing so. We are familiar with WCAG 2.0 and its applications in suits, settlements and enforcement actions. We understand how to work with this standard to fashion cost-effective settlements and web compliance plans. We can even conduct an initial “check-up” of your website to determine if compliance issues arise.

For more information please contact us.

Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

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Overview

Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act requires all “places of public accommodation” to provide access to disabled individuals. This is not limited to physical locations. Websites, mobile applications and other digital platforms are often within the scope of the ADA. An accessible website or mobile app is one that can be navigated and used successfully by people with disabilities, including blind, low vision, deaf, hearing impaired, motor impaired and cognitively impaired individuals.

Increasingly, businesses of all types and sizes are being targeted by web accessibility lawsuits.  Too often, this is how a business first learns they may have a web accessibility issue. We regularly represent clients in defending web accessibility litigation and responding to demand letters. Our knowledge of the legal, technical and commercial aspects of web and digital accessibility allows us to develop a well-informed, pragmatic and cost-effective defense strategy.  We work with clients to evaluate the plaintiff’s case both technically and legally, make tactical decisions in responding to these claims, determine whether and when to settle or litigate aggressively, and control the cost and burden of settlement and remediation.

Companies are in a better position when web accessibility compliance is addressed proactively – well before any litigation. Web accessibility compliance projects can be complex and it is preferable to budget, plan and implement accessibility outside of the litigation context. A compliance plan needs to take into account decision about whether and how to remediate and when the site can be replaced with one that is “accessible by design”; legal compliance review; staffing; testing; training; and maintain accessibility over time, among other things. It is preferable. In our experience, substantial and appropriate efforts at web accessibility compliance render companies less vulnerable to demand letters and litigation.

We work seamlessly with leading technical experts and consultants, in the U.S. and elsewhere, to evaluate client websites and mobile applications, plan and implement a web and digital accessibility strategies and projects – all while keeping legal compliance in focus. We have the relevant technical knowledge to understand the “nuts and bolts” of website remediation and redevelopment, which can be invaluable in ensuring that the project is both cost-effective and meets compliance standards.

Laws beyond Title III of the ADA may come into play. Employee intranets and jobs sites for potential employees fall under Title I of the ADA. Government contractors are covered by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Regulated industries may be subject to specific laws and regulations with differing requirements and penalties (e.g., airlines and travel businesses fall under the ambit of FAA regulations). We have worked with clients in a variety of industries, and can readily assist with special circumstances. Other jurisdictions need to be considered as well.

The regulatory landscape for web accessibility under the ADA is highly unsettled. The ADA was written in a “brick-and-mortar” world and attempts to enact web accessibility regulations have been never been completed. Proposed regulations have now been moved to the “Inactive List.” This can cause a great deal of uncertainty for companies seeking to comply with the ADA. There is a generally accepted technical standard for web accessibility promulgated by the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) – WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 2.0 Level AA. This has been treated as a de facto legal standard, despite the lack of clear legislative or regulatory authority for doing so. We are familiar with WCAG 2.0 and its applications in suits, settlements and enforcement actions. We understand how to work with this standard to fashion cost-effective settlements and web compliance plans. We can even conduct an initial “check-up” of your website to determine if compliance issues arise.

For more information please contact us.

Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.