Lawsuits Targeting Business Websites Over ADA Violations Are On the Rise


Technology is touching every facet of our lives nowadays. From kids to senior citizens, everyone has access to the internet. And when something is being used by so many people worldwide, the question of accessibility becomes an important conversation.

Failing to match accessibility guidelines can brew serious trouble. So, this guide will be all about the web accessibility lawsuit. We will discuss what you need to know about it and more importantly what you should do if you have a website.

ADA Violations Lawsuits: What You Need to Know

In 2022, having a business website is not an optional thing. Customers are more informed nowadays than ever. And they do their research online and visit company websites. And in some cases, they will directly purchase a product, or service or get information from the company website.

To compete, you need to have a compelling website. That is a basic thing in today’s day and age. However, American law takes things a bit farther than that.

Laws like the ADA Act ensure that people with disabilities in seeing and hearing can use websites properly. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, your website needs to be easy to use and friendly.

Failing to comply with the law can result in website accessibility lawsuits. This can cause harm to your brand both in monetary terms and also its image. Moreover, having an accessible website is the right thing to do.

It allows you to reach more people. Accessible websites make for an inclusive world wide web. Most of the lawsuits are ADA Title III. It allows for a website to be accessible for people with all kinds of disabilities. You can read this article to know more.

ADA Lawsuits Are on The Site: And There is Something You Can Do About It

The thing you need to know is that these lawsuits are on the rise. And chances are they might not stop that soon. Just in 2018, there were nearly 5,000 ADA. The shocking thing? This was just in the first 6 months. Now that is not something websites and business owners would want to hear.

Florida, California, and New York have seen 85% of the federal filings in 2020. And over 8,000 lawsuits have been filed or removed just between 2017 to 2020. If you think about that, that is a staggering number.

An argument that can come up is whether or not these allegations or lawsuits are frivolous. That means are all these lawsuits legitimate or are people abusing the law here. While there is no denying that some lawsuits are indeed frivolous, some are not.

There will be some plaintiffs that are serial litigants. That is not always the case when it is legitimate. And then you need to be ready for it.

In some lawsuits, the plaintiffs did win. For example, in 2017, Juan Carlos Gill’s case went to the federal court.
He sued a supermarket chain because he could not use their website since he has a visual impairment. He won the case.
Companies now need to be extra diligent about their online presence. And inclusivity is pretty important. At the end of the day, it does not matter whether the cases were frivolous or who won.

Accessibility should be a consideration regardless. Making the web more accessible will help everyone all around and the companies will also be able to create a better brand image as well. No matter how you look at it, whether from the point of view of the law or a business perspective, ADA compliance websites are good.

Reducing Your Risk of Accessibility Lawsuits

While the number of lawsuits is rising, there are some actionable steps you can take to reduce your risk of an ADA-compliant website lawsuit. Since ADA website accessibility has guidelines, a good web consulting firm like ADAforweb can help.

Information and expert guidance are the keys to making your website user-friendly and accessible.

ADAforweb helps identify the right strategy for partners just like you. The process is designed to benefit both you and your clients. So, it is a win-win situation for all. Other than that, there are some basic steps you can take.

1. A Responsive Site is a Compliant Site
The first order of business is to have a responsive website. Responsive does not only mean that it is fast and smooth to use. It also refers to the client site device. Your website should be usable (and have the same information) on different devices like desktops and mobile.

2. Easy to Use Buttons and Forms
Any serious company website will have forms and buttons. Ensure these are designed in a user-friendly way and easy to use for the most part. The labels and all input elements should be visible. Any documents or text should be readable as well and it goes the same for forms.

3. Keyboard Navigation
One of the most overlooked features is keyboard navigation. Many websites do not incorporate proper keyboard navigation. Seniors who want to use websites and computers might prefer using a keyboard. This is where it becomes pretty necessary.

4. Color Contrast for Visually Impaired
Honestly, you could put this at the very top of the list. The first thing anyone will see when they visit your website is the design, colors, images, and layout. The color contrast needs to be designed with complementary colors. Contrast for high visibility is always recommended.

5. Conforming with WCAG 2.1 AA
You can reduce the risk of a lawsuit quite a lot by conforming to WCAG 2.1 AA standards. If you don’t know what it includes then you can click here to learn about everything you need to know.

Wrapping Up
With web accessibility lawsuits on the rise, it is now more important than ever to be compliant with ADA standards. Not only is it required by law, but it makes the web more accessible for people.

That in general is the right thing to do. You can get the critical information and expert counseling you need at ADAforweb.

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.