ADA Compliance SCAM
There has been an email floating around for some time now about making sure that your website is ADA-compliant. Before we get into the email itself. I want to first talk about what is ADA Compliance.
ADA is referring to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 the final version of the bill was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H. W. Bush. It was later amended in 2008 and signed by President George W. Bush with changes effective as of January 1, 2009.
Basically, an ADA-compliant website is a website that is designed for everybody. It should allow those with disabilities to use your website in a way that works for them. This is a win for your business and for those with a disability, it can also be costly to make your website compliant. But Simply Web Services can help build you a new compliant WordPress website today.
Here is the email that some of our clients have been receiving:
As COVID has moved even more transactions online, how will you know if your website is accessible to all potential customers?
Your peers in Virginia are being sued for websites that do not meet muddy compliance guidelines.
These suits have been happening to producers across the nation and they have found their way to Virginia. With people spending more time online than ever before, now is the time to protect yourself from these lawsuits.
Do you know what to do when you receive a complaint?
You will hear from producers that have been sued; Padilla, a marketing firm that conducts audits on your digital marketing for ADA compliance; and Attorney, Mary Beth Williams of Williams Compliance and Consulting with practical legal information.
Register today to Go! Get Compliant!
By participating in this webinar, you will learn how to determine if your digital marketing is ADA-compliant and get some practical resources and tools for you or your website designer.
Be proactive! Prevent a lawsuit!
So is there any truth to this threatening email? The short answer is yes, in fact. a violation can result in a $150,000 fine and it is a very serious problem. And making a website accessible isn’t just making a small change, you need to consider things like visual impairments such as blindness to include color blindness; motor and mobility issues, including things like loss of muscle control and inability to use the hands; auditory issues like deafness and hearing impairments; seizures, like flashing effects and strobe effects; cognitive and intellectual issues like developmental issues and cognitive disabilities to PTSD.
This means making your website accessible and usable to tools like screen readers, braille terminals, screen magnification software, speech recognition software, and subtitles.
There are many guidelines that are involved and as you can imagine adding all this to your current website or a new website can get costly.
Right now this is going to be a choice that your business will have to review and make. Currently, in the U.S., Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. There is some debate on the matter; multiple courts and the U.S. Department of Justice have taken the position that the ADA requires website and app operators and owners to take affirmative steps to make their websites and apps accessible to disabled persons and compatible with common assistive technologies such as the JAWS screen reader, while other courts have taken the position that the ADA does not apply online.
Numerous lawsuits challenging websites and mobile apps on the basis of the ADA have been filed since 2017. These cases appear spurred by a 2017 case, Gil v. Winn Dixie Stores, in which a federal court in Florida ruled that Winn Dixie’s website must be accessible. Around 800 cases related to web accessibility were filed in 2017, and over 2,200 were filed in 2018. Additionally, though the Justice Department had stated in 2010 that they would publish guidelines for web accessibility, they reversed this plan in 2017, also spurring legal action against inaccessible sites.
A notable lawsuit related to the ADA was filed against Domino’s Pizza by a blind user who could not use Domino’s mobile app. At the federal district level, the court ruled in favor of Domino’s as the Justice Department had not established the guidelines for accessibility, but this was appealed to the Ninth Circuit. The Ninth Circuit overruled the district court, ruling that because Domino’s is a brick-and-mortar store, which must meet the ADA, and the mobile app an extension of their services, their app must also be compliant with the ADA. Domino’s petitioned the Supreme Court, backed by many other restaurants and retail chains, arguing that this decision impacts their Due Process since handicapped customers have other, more accessible means to order. In October 2019, the Supreme Court declined to hear the case, which effectively upheld the decision of the 9th Circuit Court and requires the case to be heard as it stands. (source)
Don’t let your business fall prey to a lawsuit that could have been avoided. Contact SWS today at 540-479-6350 and let’s talk about your options.
We can review your website for compliance and let you know where you stand.