Apps Likely to Become Focus of Disability Lawsuits

From Tech Crunch - “Will apps become the next disability lawsuit target?”

What You Need to Know

  • Apps, like websites, will probably become a focus of disability claims for not following standards set forth in the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Background Information

Apps have become a driving force in business relations between businesses and the public. As more of the public turn to apps for day-to-day access to content and commerce, the accessibility of apps for people with disabilities are being called to attention under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Lawsuits are being filed against notable websites for not following the ADA's public accommodation provisions. The complaints allege that the websites are not fully accessible to individuals with disabilities.

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has begun investigations into website accessibility and commonly reaches settlements siding with plaintiffs.

Apps and the ADA

The American with Disabilities Act does not address if websites and apps fall under the definition of "public accommodation", but courts have ruled that websites are an extension of of the physical public accommodation. Law firms are also sending demand letters to companies that websites are in violation of the ADA.

Through these court ruled decisions and settlements, it is safe to say that litigation can be expected to extended to apps who fail to be inaccessible to people with disabilities.

Tips for Avoiding App-Based Disability Claims

  • Identify counsel with knowledge in accessible technology
  • Define accessibility requirements when procuring app design and development
  • Test app accessibility with screen readers such as:
    • VoiceOver on iOS
    • Talkback on Android
  • Leverage Industry Standards as a Guide:
    • Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0
    • Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act Guidelines

How AudioEye Can Help

At AudioEye, we continue to see an uptick in the number of customers seeking support as it relates to accessibility testing of native applications. This, of course, is to be expected as more business and organizations strive to incorporate accessibility into their development processes and seek to achieve conformance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. As alluded to in the Tech Crunch article, business should not neglect their native applications when analyzing other components of their digital assets, such as their desktop and mobile web environments. Mobile devices are critically important tools for navigating the digital world and it is imperative that a similar effort is extended to ensuring access and usability across native applications.

For more information about how AudioEye can assist your organization in achieving a successful native application accessibility strategy, please contact AudioEye for a free guidance discussion.

Source Articles

Will apps become the next disability lawsuit target?

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