Currently, while storefronts, public areas and public bathrooms must legally take measures to accommodate everyone with disabilities, online ADA compliance is not mandatory on anything but government-managed websites. Instead, these rules act as guidelines to ensure that disabled people have the same ability to access and read/view your website as everyone else.
My 34 year old Deaf son went to the DMV to take his written driving test today for the 3rd time. Again he was not afforded a copy of the test to study again as he is deaf and “they don’t do that”. Why is it if you are hearing you can have a copy of the questions to study with if you fail, but if you are deaf or hearing impaired you do not have this right. This is discrimination at its worst. If he were an illegal alien who spoke only Spanish he would get a copy in Spanish, but because he is deaf and only reads English, he gets nothing. I want to know what folks think of that. We went to the Rancho Cucamonga, California DMV office on Hellman. I find this just the worst thing, he is being discriminated against.
CVS is one of the largest convenience/pharmacy stores in the United States (hence the industry titled with medicine). In 2017, Kyla Reed, brought a case against CVS to curt after claiming that blind individuals are not able to access key features of the website that are directly integrated with its physical location. For example, if a blind person is unable to order prescriptions online, that is in direct violation with the ADA.
For federal institutions, Section 508 makes it very clear that all federal-related websites must be accessible to all individuals, with and without disabilities. For private commercial websites, the Department of Justice (DOJ), which enforces the ADA, has made it clear that it interprets the ADA as applicable to websites. In 2010, the DOJ issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to specifically ensure all websites, public and private, are subject to ADA compliance. The DOJ’s proposed amendments to the ADA were initially expected in Spring of 2016 but have now been pushed back to 2018.
Creating a more operable and navigable website will ultimately benefit all users while still meeting WCAG guidelines. Making your web pages easier to comprehend will allow everyone - disabled or non - to find what they’re looking for quickly. If you decide to follow the guidelines, your website will likely convert more leads across the board because users will trust that they can always easily find the content they need.
Now that we have established the risks, where do we go from here? First, companies should run an accessibility scan of their webpages. There are numerous free online tools that can be used, including: http://www.wave.webaim.org and https://achecker.ca/checker/index.php. This will provide an overview of potential issues that need to be resolved. If you have in-house developers or IT, this is best handled by them. Second, look into getting ADA compliant before you receive a demand letter. Be aware however, that compliance is not cheap. Depending on your website, how much hand holding your company needs, and a few other variables, you could be looking at spending $25,000 – $50,000, on average. Third, if you receive a demand letter, make sure you hire counsel that has experience with these cases. Various legal arguments have been raised to dismiss these cases at the outset – some have been successful, but many have not. You have to consider all available options. And finally, since this will not be addressed by the DOJ anytime soon, ask your Congressperson to make sure guidelines are enacted as soon as possible. Those guidelines should take into account a business’ operations and size.
Of the 814 federal cases, New York and Florida led the way with more than 335 and 325 cases, respectively. Surprisingly, California only had nine new website accessibility lawsuits in 2017, most likely because plaintiffs filed in state court. Federal courts in Arizona (6), Georgia (9), Illinois (10), Massachusetts (15), New Hampshire (2), Michigan (1), New Jersey (4), Ohio (8), Pennsylvania (58), Puerto Rico (1), Texas (7), and Virginia (24) also had their share of website accessibility lawsuits.
If those together don’t make the opening big enough, it might be possible to reconstruct the whole doorway and door, depending on the construction of the building. I rebuilt one doorway in my own home and it only cost around $1,000-$1500 – and that was using a very high end contractor. It was also wood frame construction and drywall, in a non-bearing wall; you’ll have a different scenario, of course, with steel, or with masonry, and/or plaster and lathe, and if it’s a bearing wall.
I know there may have been concerns that the ADA may be too vague or too costly, or may lead endlessly to litigation. But I want to reassure you right now that my administration and the United States Congress have carefully crafted this Act. We've all been determined to ensure that it gives flexibility, particularly in terms of the timetable of implementation; and we've been committed to containing the costs that may be incurred.... Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down.
As we had predicted, the number of website accessibility lawsuits (i.e. lawsuits alleging that plaintiffs with a disability could not use websites because they were not coded to work with assistive technologies like screen readers, or otherwise accessible to them) filed in federal court under Title III of the ADA exploded in 2018 to at least 2258 – increasing by 177% from 814 such lawsuits in 2017.
I’m going to start this post in a way that most of you may find surprising. I want to thank Kylie Jenner. You see, for over a year now I have been telling clients, other lawyers, and family members (who politely nod because they still don’t quite understand what I do for a living) that companies need to make sure their websites are ADA compliant. This usually leads to a crass conversation about how a website can even be ADA compliant. But recently, I received a text message from a friend with a link to a JustJared.com piece entitled, “Kylie Jenner’s Cosmetics Website Sued for Not Being Accessible to Blind Customers.” My friend’s text said, “This what you have been talking about!” The exclamation mark made my day. Yes, this is what I have been talking about! And while most of you have likely never heard of Just Jared, it is high time we talk about ADA website compliance and website accessibility.
Settlements like these were entered into across the country, and 2015 included: edX, Inc. and Carnival Cruise Lines (Carnival Corp.). Needless to say, by the mid to early 2010s, the DOJ were well aware of website accessibility issues and knew exactly where it stood on these issues. In the fall of 2014, the DOJ issued a Statement of Regulatory Priorities stating, “the Department received approximately 440 public comments and is in the process of reviewing these comments… the Department plans to follow with the publication of the title III NPRM in the third quarter of fiscal year 2015.” That did not happen. Rather, in the fall of 2015, the DOJ decided to “extend the time period for development of the proposed Title III Web site accessibility rule and include it among its long-term rulemaking priorities. The Department expects to publish Title III Web site accessibility NPRM during fiscal year 2018.” In 2016, the DOJ requested additional public comment. And this year, the Trump Administration placed the DOJ’s rulemakings under Titles II and III of the ADA for websites, medical equipment, and furniture of public accommodations and state and local governments on the 2017 Inactive Actions list.
Ashdown Architecture is a full service architectural firm with significant expertise addressing complex access compliance issues in buildings and facilities throughout California. We are committed to improving access to the built environment for individuals with disabilities, by providing information, education and solutions to business and property owners. Ashdown Architecture is certified by the California Division of State Architect as a Certified Access Specialist (CASp).
The regulations in California were developed by the Division of the State Architect, Access Compliance, eight years before the United States Congress passed the ADA. The current California Building Standards Code was written to provide a single code which would meet all of the most stringent requirements of the original California Building Standards Code, as well as the 1991 Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines.
California Government Code Section 4459(c) indicates that the scope of accessibility regulations in the California Building Standards Code shall not be less than the application and scope of accessibility requirements of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as adopted by the United States Department of Justice. ADA certification by the Department of Justice provides the most effective, recognized, and legal method for demonstrating that the California Building Code meets or exceeds the ADA requirements.
The question of fixing the elevator is an entirely different matter (and one with which I am personally struggling in my own home), depends on local building codes and the specifics of the building, and you will need to start with the local building department to see if there is any way to get the situation rectified if the landlord is unresponsive.
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.
I own and reside in a Long Beach condo building of 225 units. When I moved into the building in 2009 there were no rules as to where to store a bicycle. Starting July 1st, 2012 all bicycles are mandated to be stored in a bicycle room for $3.00 per month. One third of the racks are at low level and accessible to ADA people like myself, while the rest require lifting the bicycle on a shelf or hook. The assignment of space has been awarded on a first come first serve basis with no regard for accessibility. Is there an ADA code regulating bicycle storage facilities in Condominiums?
The prudent next step is running an audit on your site. The tools will crawl your site and identify all the areas that do not meet web accessibility standards for ADA compliance. The results will give you a very clear sense of the work involved so you can budget properly and weigh the benefits. Who knows, you may find out that your site is already fairly compliant, especially if you are on a fairly progressive platform and have used proper coding practices during your site build.
Good afternoon. My son with disabilities attends an elementary school. Most children in his class have ambulatory issues. All have mental development issues. There is not one entrance to the school, school buildings, or classroom that has an automatic door opener. When questioned about this I was told because there is always some one there to help get thought the doors it’s okay. This isn’t true. But even if someone were is that answer/situation acceptable? Is a public school allowed to not be in ADA compliance? Thank you for your response.