Increasing Federal Website Accessibility Lawsuits Facts


There is a rapid increase in the number of lawsuits and threatening demand letters sent to organizations for having websites that are inaccessible to people with certain disabilities. Rather, there must be a decline in the ratio instead of a hike. This article highlights the reason for the increasing number of lawsuits from those past years as well as a web accessibility lawsuit report for better clarification.

The number of Federal Website Accessibility Lawsuits Data (2017-2018) 

According to ADA Title III, there was a minimum of 2258 digital accessibility lawsuits recorded in 2018. With a drastic increase from 814 lawsuits in 2017. A bar graph shows the increase in the number of lawsuits dramatically from 2017 to 2018. This shows that the data has staggeringly become tripled in those two years. 

Title III Website Accessibility Lawsuits Graph

Reason Behind Such a Rapid Explosion of Website Accessibility Lawsuits

The main reason is the unclarity of the guidelines. Title III of ADA has no explicit mention of websites as it was written during the Internet’s inception.  Moreover, there were conflicting verdicts on a range of issues related to Title III and website accessibility. 

For instance, some courts have ruled that all websites are covered by Title III of the ADA while others have ruled that only websites for organizations with a physical location are covered. 

Due to this conflicting nature of federal rulings, an environment of rising litigation has taken and continues to grow.

It is also noted that in 2010, the Department of Justice under the Obama Administration announced the plan to revise the rules and create website accessibility regulations. However, due to constantly changing web technology, the process was delayed for many years. 

In 2018, the House of Representatives passed the ADA Education and Reform Act – but it was not specified to digital accessibility. Instead, it was about the steps that the plaintiff must go through before they can sue any organization under Title III. According to publication, the bill has not been brought up for a vote and is still stuck in the Senate. 

By seeing the situation, it is likely believed that it will take a long time. In addition, it is advisable to make your business protected to stay away from getting sued. Web accessibility lawsuit report says the following data. 

New York And Florida Based Plaintiffs

It is noted that New York and Florida are the two states that bring maximum lawsuits. Although this information is for the plaintiff’s and lawyers’ residence, not the companies being targeted. 

Lawsuits Filed in New York and Florida

Headquarters of The Companies of New York and Florida 

Taking a look at the headquarters locations listed in New York and Florida filing, it is clear that the whole nation is affected globally. 

Top Ten states Filed For Lawsuits

The Industry Pattern: 

The majority of the cases being highlighted by the General pattern over 2017 and 2018 towards the industries like: 

  • Retail
  • Food Service
  • Travel/Hospitality
  • Banking/Financial
  • Entertainment and Leisure
  • Self-Service

Industries Targeted For Web Accessibility Lawsuits

Defending Lawyers Vs Plaintiff Lawyers 

The report lists the top 10 on lawyers and plaintiff lawyers on a regular basis that will likely seem similar settlements and agreements being agreed over time.

Plaintiff Lawyers Vs Lawyers Handling Lawsuits under ADA Compliant cases


The reports show the rampant nature of lawsuits over two years within these states has affected globally. Till the rules get revised, it is strongly recommended to protect your business by making your website ADA compliant. Moreover, you can take assistance from professionals who can make your website ADA compliant as well as provide other services that would be according to the guidelines of ADA Compliant. 

Working on a website can be difficult. Adding new media and updating pages is chore, even though you know your company website needs to evolve and become more accessible to the many users you are trying to reach. Maybe when you first built it, accessibility wasn’t even really discussed. But now you’ve taken a step back, looked at your customer base with a desire to include everyone and you’ve realized just how important it is to make your site accessible. However, the thought of building a robust site that can do all the things you want it to do is overwhelming.

What is Web Accessibility

A practice of designing and coding the website in order to provide complete compatibility in accessing it by people with disabilities. In addition, it is a way to improve search engine optimization only an ADA Compliant Web Designer will help you to make your website Compliant. Is your website compatible? By going through the checklist below, you can get the answer.

Assessing Current Web Pages and Content

  • The website must include a feature like a navigation link at the top of the page. These links have a bypass mechanism such as a “skip navigation” link. This feature directs screen readers to bypass the row of navigation links and start at the web page content. It is beneficial for people who use screen readers to avoid to listen to all the links each time they jump to a new page.
  • All the links should be understandable when taken out of the context. For example, images without alternative text and links without worded as “click here”.
  • All the graphics, maps, images, and other non-text content must provide text alternatives through the alt attribute, a hidden/visible long description.
  • All the documents posted on the website should available in HTML or another accessible text-based format. It is also applicable to other formats like Portable Document Format (PDF).
  • The online forms on the website should be structured so assistive technology can identify, describe and operate the controls and inputs. By doing this, people with disabilities can review and submit the forms.
  • If the website has online forms, the drop-down list should describe the information instead of displaying a response option. For instance, “Your Age” instead of “18-25”.
  • If the website has data charts and tables, they should be structured so that all data cells are associated with column and row identifiers.
  • All the video files on the website must have audio descriptions (if necessary). This is for the convenience of blind people or for having a visual impairment disability.
  • All the video files on the website must have synchronized captions. People with hearing problems or deaf can access these files conveniently.
  • All the audio files on the website should have synchronized captions to provide access to people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • All web pages should be designed so that they can be viewed using visitors’ web browser and operating system settings for color and font.

About Website Accessibility Policy and Procedures

  • One must have a written policy on website accessibility.
  • The website accessibility policy must be posted on the website at a location where it can be easily found.
  • The procedure should be developed to ensure that content is not added to the website until it has been made accessible.
  • It should be confirmed that the website manager has checked the code and structure of all new web pages before they are posted.
  • While adding the PDFs to the website, these should be accessible. Also, the text-based versions of the documents should be accessible at the same time as PDF versions.
  • Make sure that the in-house and contractor staff has received the information about the website accessibility policy and procedure to confirm the website accessibility.
  • It should be confirmed that in-house and contractor staff has received appropriate training on how to ensure the accessibility of the website.
  • The website should have a specific written plan if it contains inaccessible content. Also, it should include timeframes in place to make all of the existing web content accessible.
  • A complete plan to improve website accessibility should be posted along with invited suggestions for improvement.
  • The homepage should include easily locatable information that includes contact details like telephone number and email address. This is useful for reporting website accessibility problems and requesting accessibility services with information.
  • A website should have procedures in place to assure a quick response to the visitors with disabilities who have difficulty in accessing information or services available on the website.
  • Feedback from people who use a variety of assistive technologies is helpful in ensuring website accessibility. So make sure to ask disability groups representing people to provide feedback on the accessibility of your website.
  • Testing the website using a product available on the internet is helpful, These tools are of free cost and check the accessibility of a website. They may not identify all accessibility issues and flag issues that are not accessibility problems. However, these are, nonetheless, a helpful way to improve website accessibility.

Checklist of Action Items for Improving the Accessibility of a Website

In addition, while considering the above suggestions, the following checklist initially prepared by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Federal Agencies provides further guidelines on ways to make websites more accessible for persons with disabilities.

This practical advice, as well as another checklist, are available at:

Satisfying all of these items does not necessarily mean that a website complies with ADA, but it will improve the website’s accessibility and decrease the risk of litigation. Again, an Expert or Web Accessibility Consulting & Services provider should be engaged to conduct a comprehensive review of your website.
Nothing brings you closer to reality than actually facing it. This is the premise of my latest attempt to spread awareness about Web Accessibility.
For better understand, here is a link in which a practical example is shown to make the websites’ user experience better by following the guidelines. Also, it tells the issues affecting various users on the internet with solutions.
You can make your website ADA compliant in an easy way by consulting the professionals, who can do this job effortlessly. Also, you can get a quick website audit from To Be ADA Compliant that offers complete web accessibility consulting & services in California, USA.