Like the Domino’s Pizza case, Luc Burbon, a visually impaired individual, sued the Fox News Network because it didn’t meet WCAG 2.0 standards. According to the article cited below, the website blocked Luc from being able to receive goods and services available at Fox News’ physical locations (including live broadcasts and tapings that audience members can attend).
I am finishing construction of an 18 unit apartment building in the City of Los Angeles. I have an ADA compliant lift going up/down the handrail for the entrance to the building. When down, all of the mechanical equipment is on may property but the lift platform encroaches the City sidewalk during ingress/egress. The lift is stored at the top when not in use, so the only time of encroachment is in the down position.
Defendant: HRB Digital LLC, one of the largest tax return preparers in the United States that offers a wide range of services online via website and mobile apps. Services include professional and do-it-yourself tax preparation, instructional videos, office location information, interactive live video conference and chat with tax pros, online and in-store services and electronic tax-return filing.
In 2017, lawsuits against companies for ADA website compliance were not nearly as common and based on this article, you can see that lawyers had to prove that the web presence was closely related to Winn-Dixie’s physical location. Nowadays, we are seeing that websites are being held to the same standards as physical locations as it relates to ADA. Websites are now a public space.
You may have noticed a common theme among these cases. Most of these cases’ plaintiffs were visually impaired individuals that couldn’t use their screen reading software with a website. It’s vital to note that disabilities extend well beyond blind individuals and all companies should adhere to all-encompassing best practices as it relates to ADA website compliance.
The fact that an ADA compliant website can increase your target audience by millions is just one reason to make your site more accessible. Another benefit is that not only will you get more customers, but those customers will also know how valuable they are to your business. After all, they might have gone to a few other websites that were not ADA compliant, disappointed each time that they couldn’t access the content, until they got to your website.
The ADA states that a "covered entity" shall not discriminate against "a qualified individual with a disability". This applies to job application procedures, hiring, advancement and discharge of employees, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. "Covered entities" include employers with 15 or more employees, as well as employment agencies, labor organizations, and joint labor-management committees. There are strict limitations on when a covered entity can ask job applicants or employees disability-related questions or require them to undergo medical examination, and all medical information must be kept confidential.
Did you know that many of the fire extinguishers as installed within big box retail stores violate the ADA and ANSI A117.1 on multiple counts? They are both too high (higher than 48 inches to the handle) and they protrude too far (more than 4 inches) into the adjacent path of travel. This violates the civil rights of wheelchair users, people of small stature, and the blind.
In general, when alterations are made to existing buildings or facilities, an accessible path of travel to the specific area of alteration shall be provided; this path of travel includes a primary entrance to the building or facility, toilet and bathing facilities serving the area of alteration, drinking fountains serving the area of alteration, public telephones serving the area of alteration, and signs as well as accessible routes which connect the area of alteration with site arrival points such as sidewalks, streets, and accessible parking (see CBC Section 11B-202.4). In general, these listed elements, if provided on the site, are required to comply with the current code requirements or be brought into compliance when an alteration occurs. In the context of EVCS, this scheme will apply when EVCS are installed at existing facilities where vehicle fueling, recharging, parking or storage is a primary function. These types of facilities include gas stations, stand-alone parking lots and stand-alone parking structures. Compliance is required to the maximum extent feasible without exceeding 20 percent of the cost of the work directly associated with the installation of EVCS (see Section 11B-202.4 Exception 10).
The Department is evaluating whether promulgating regulations about the accessibility of Web information and services are necessary and appropriate. Such an evaluation will be informed by an additional review of data and further analysis. The Department will continue to assess whether specific technical standards are necessary and appropriate to assist covered entities with complying with the ADA.
Where EVCS are installed at facilities where vehicle fueling, recharging, parking or storage is NOT a primary function, compliance with Section 11B-202.4 is NOT required (see Section 11B-202.4 Exception 10). These types of facilities include shopping centers, individual stores and office buildings. While parking is frequently provided at these types of facilities, parking is not the primary function – shopping or conducting business is the primary function at these facilities.
The lack of regulations here has led to the absolute worst-case scenario. People with disabilities have not been served since most companies are unaware this is an issue. Most don’t even realize this is something they have to consider until they receive a demand letter. That has certainly been the case for some of my clients. This leads to a scramble to get compliant. Unfortunately, it can take up to a year to do so depending on the complexity of the site. Meanwhile, plaintiffs’ attorneys across the country are taking advantage of the confusion. More than 260 website accessibility lawsuits were filed in 2016, and significantly more were filed by the end of 2017. But these numbers do not even begin to cover the cases that are settled pre-litigation.