ADA Accessibility for Websites is Now Required

It is now official.  ADA accessibility applies to websites.  Your website must be compliant. The Supreme Court has refused to hear the case of Robles vs. Domino’s Pizza.  This means that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling, which held that Domino’s website must be compliant, stands.  The retailer needs to have a compliant website.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals held that the “ADA applied to Domino’s website and app because the Act mandates that places of public accommodation, like Domino’s, provide auxiliary aids and services to make visual materials available to individuals who are blind.” 

By turning down review of the case, the Supreme Court has now made ADA compliance for websites the de facto law.  This may lead to a glut of litigation in this area, as a lot of websites are not compliant. 

What Does This Mean for Your Law Firm and Website?

Get an ADA audit and get compliant.  Seriously, get an audit to start a review of your website.

How Do You Audit for ADA?

ADA has three levels of compliance – Level A, AA, and AAA.  We recommend that you have at least AA level of compliance. Check out our handy ADA compliance checklist

What Types of Items Must be Compliant?

The website needs to be usable by those with screen readers.  The checklist goes over all the particular details, but the most common are alt text for images, captions for videos, skip navigation for menus, ability to navigate by tabs, contrast ratio for colors, and other specific items for how your websites are displayed.

What Happens to Domino’s Pizza Now?

The case is remanded back to the Circuit Court for trial.  Originally, the case was dismissed and that resulted in the appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The court will decide whether Robles suffered discrimination and award any appropriate damages. 

What about Damages?

We asked Jason Gunter, a leading Employment lawyer in Florida, about ADA damages for websites. He said, “It is yet to be determined to what extent actual damages are required and how those damages will be quantified if plaintiff is successful. Regardless, there is no question that lawsuits involving non-ADA compliant websites will be expensive to litigate, and the attorney’s fees and costs will always predominate over any actual damages. In other words, a “win” in an ADA website case would still include the non-reimbursed expenditure of thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees for the company, even if it does prevail. On the other hand, should the plaintiff prevail on injunctive relief on the technical aspects of ADA website compliance, the company may be obligated to reimburse the plaintiff’s attorney for attorney’s fees and cost, which will be substantial, even if the actual damages are nonexistent or not provable.”

What to Do Next?

Get an ADA audit of your website. A bit of self promotion, but PaperStreet can help you make your website compliant. Contact us today if you are interested.

Other Resources

  1. ADA Compliance Overview
  2. ADA Resources & Laws
  3. ADA Compliance Checklist
  4. ADA Website Consulting

 


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