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.


Inherently inaccessible websites and apps. Such complaints as the cases against NBA and Winn Dixie, and similar cases (read on for details) suggest that websites and apps that use inherently inaccessible technologies are most likely to attract litigation. It’s understandable as such websites oftentimes completely block physically impaired individuals from accessing certain parts or even the whole website.
"Universal design" is a broader, more comprehensive "design-for-all" approach to the development of architecture around human diversity. It recognizes the changing diversity of needs important to all types of people regardless of their varying age, ability, or condition, during an entire life. By comparison, "accessibility" has traditionally focused on addressing the needs of a few people with separate circumstances from those of the public at large, when in fact almost everyone is, over the course of their lifetime, quite able to benefit from barrier-free design, user-friendly architecture, and comfortable environments.
You are correct, ADA defines an “employer” as any person who is 1) engaged in an industry affecting commerce; 2) employes 15 or more full-time employees each work day; and 3) for at least 20 or more calendar weeks in the year. In the context of physical spaces, ADA would not apply to companies with fewer than 15 employees. However, courts don’t seem to have come to a consensus on what digital compliance really should look like. Because websites can be accessed anywhere in the country, small business owners might potentially face lawsuits in unfavorable jurisdictions. If you are a small business owner, I would recommend consulting with an accessibility lawyer and ask what they recommend.
In June of 2003, the DOJ issued a document appropriately entitled, “Accessibility of State and Local Government Websites to People with Disabilities.” References were made to Section 508 accessibility Standards and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). By 2010, the DOJ issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR), entitled “Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability; Accessibility of Web Information and Services of State and Local Government Entities and Public Accommodations.” That document provides that, “Title III reaches the Web sites of entities that provide goods or services that fall within the 12 categories of ‘public accommodations’ as defined by the statute and regulations.” It also sought input on whether the DOJ should adopt “the WCAG 2.0’s Level AA Success Criteria as its standard for Web site accessibility for entities covered by Titles II and III of the ADA.”
Olmstead v. L.C.[65] was a case before the United States Supreme Court in 1999. The two plaintiffs L.C. and E.W. were institutionalized in Georgia for diagnosed mental retardation and schizophrenia. Clinical assessments by the state determined that the plaintiffs could be appropriately treated in a community setting rather than the state institution. The plaintiffs sued the state of Georgia and the institution for being inappropriately treated and housed in the institutional setting rather than being treated in one of the state's community based treatment facilities.
When the law was enacted in 1990, it did not specifically address website accessibility for the disabled, but this has become a much-discussed topic in recent years. In 2006, Target settled a class action lawsuit alleging Target.com was inaccessible to the blind, in violation of the ADA, and in 2015 both Reebok and the NBA were hit with a class action lawsuit that alleged their websites did not accomodate the blind and visually impaired.
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.
With this legislation, California joins state and municipal entities in other parts of the country that have similar web accessibility requirements for governmental entities and contractors.  This legislation fills a small part of a void the federal Department of Justice has decided for the time being not to fill, when it put its pending regulations that would set an accessibility standard for state and local (as well as private entity) websites on the inactive list.
Throughout the certification review process, Department of Justice staff provide assistance and guidance to representatives of state and local governments that request certification of their accessibility requirements. Upon receipt of a complete certification submission, a team of experienced staff (architects, accessibility specialists and attorneys) undertake a detailed comparison of the submitted accessibility code to the Title III requirements for the design, construction, and alteration of buildings and facilities, including the ADA Standards for Accessible Design. The staff may contact submitting officials during this process to gain additional information about the correct interpretation and application of the submitted code.
We are also being asked to show the future space for the 1 Van accessible EV space that would be required in the future, if the equipment was installed. And due to the requirement for the access aisle beside this space, in the future it would be converted to an access aisle resulting in the loss of one parking space. As this project is right at the required number of parking spaces per zoning, it is not acceptable to the zoning reviewer to sign off on a plan that shows a “future access aisle for future EV van accessible charging space,” as they are approving the loss of a parking space, even though this would not happen until a future condition, upon which I assume there would be some review process for installation of EV charging equipment. What is the appropriate path forward in this situation?
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?

Barden v. The City of Sacramento, filed in March 1999, claimed that the City of Sacramento failed to comply with the ADA when, while making public street improvements, it did not bring its sidewalks into compliance with the ADA. Certain issues were resolved in Federal Court. One issue, whether sidewalks were covered by the ADA, was appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that sidewalks were a "program" under ADA and must be made accessible to persons with disabilities. The ruling was later appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which refused to hear the case, letting stand the ruling of the 9th Circuit Court.[62][63]

Construction law is quite difficult, and takes experienced professional expertise. The Division of the State Architect functions as a building oversight agency on state-funded construction projects, and can only direct you to general resources at your local building department. If DSA is the jurisdictional authority, our "California Access Compliance Reference Manual" has all of the building code accessibility regulations and policies used on projects under DSA approval authority. The Manual is available as a free download as an Adobe Acrobat (PDF) file. The Manual is also available in hardcopy at technical bookstores throughout California.
Inherently inaccessible websites and apps. Such complaints as the cases against NBA and Winn Dixie, and similar cases (read on for details) suggest that websites and apps that use inherently inaccessible technologies are most likely to attract litigation. It’s understandable as such websites oftentimes completely block physically impaired individuals from accessing certain parts or even the whole website.

It’s great that the building has multiple access points – but it’s difficult to comment on the sidewalk that’s not compliant, without knowing what the compliance issues are and the normal function that the sidewalk performs. Does the sidewalk, for instance, provide a path of travel from accessible parking stalls, or a path of travel from the street? If you want to send a sketch or photo to [email protected], we’ll be happy to take a look at it.
This Grievance Procedure is established to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).  It may be used by anyone who wishes to file a complaint alleging discrimination on the basis of disability in the provision of services, activities, programs, or benefits by the California Department of Insurance (CDI).  CDI has a separate procedure governing employment for employees and applicants.
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.
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