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[Press] Digital accessibility legal landscape: are you at risk with an inaccessible site?

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Posted March 20, 2020

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U.S. law guarantees the right of equal access for all people regardless of their ability. But what about access to online information? Although the relevant legislation – the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – actually predates the first web browser, it was designed to keep pace with changing technology. In fact, in 2018, the Department of Justice confirmed that the ADA’s requirements, specifically what constitutes “places of public accommodations”, are applicable to websites – and have been for more than 20 years. Further, legal precedence supports the same notion that the websites should be considered a place of public accommodation.

Given the litigious nature of modern society and the fact that an estimated 26 percent of U.S. adults are living with a disability, it’s perhaps surprising that ADA-related lawsuits have only recently begun to proliferate.[1] But what started as a trickle is fast becoming a torrent, and all commercial organizations should now be aware of the growing risks of litigation.

In 2017, there were 815 ADA lawsuits filed in US Federal District Courts. In 2018, that number almost tripled to 2,250. Last year – based on AudioEye tracking[2] – saw a further increase to 2,446 lawsuits, of which 2,345 were aimed at commercial organizations.

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