Hello, we are thinking of leasing the second floor of a renovated Victorian home for our business. The business is an office where we service insurance claims but the nature of the business is such that we would not have business invitees (such as insureds and claimants). The building has an exterior stairway to access the level we are going to lease. There is no elevator and one is not contemplated. For our use, it is fine but does it have to have an elevator just for the sake of use as a business, despite the lack of being for actual “public” use? Thank you!
In 2014, the DOJ filed a Complaint in Intervention on a pending case between the National Federation of the Blind and H & R Block. According to that Complaint, “the inaccessibility of H&R Block’s website prevents people with disabilities from independently preparing and filing taxes online, downloading tax preparation software, etc.” The settlement was broken down into two phases: Phase I- (to be completed by 01/2015) H&R Block shall ensure that www.hrblock.com and the Online Tax Preparation Product conform to, at minimum, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Level A and AA Success Criteria (“WCAG 2.0 AA”). And Phase II- (to be completed by 01/2016) H&R Block shall ensure that its mobile applications conform to, at minimum, the WCAG 2.0 AA.
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.
Lack of basic accessibility features. The majority of cases are caused by this factor. The lack of basic, easy-to-implement web accessibility features may show indifference to needs of users with disabilities and their user experience browsing your site, which in most cases leads to a filed complaint. Basic accessibility features may include providing alt text on graphics, providing labels on form controls (e.g. text boxes, checkboxes, radio buttons), avoiding improper table markup which can lead to accessibility issues, providing alt text on images, etc.
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.
This document contains the 2019 California Building Code (CBC) accessibility provisions adopted by DSA and commentary on selected requirements. Commentary is included from the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design and from DSA for provisions unique to California. Additionally, an expanded table of contents for Chapter 11B is provided at the beginning of the chapter.
Seyfarth’s ADA Title III team consists of attorneys with extensive experience in ADA Title III litigation located in many offices across the United States, including California where plaintiffs are most active. With additional litigators admitted to practice in virtually every jurisdiction in the country, we have the resources to defend our clients against lawsuits and investigations on a nationwide basis and provide consistent and efficient service in national engagements. We have successfully defended against or resolved hundreds of lawsuits brought under Title III of the ADA and applicable state laws.
What’s in store for 2018? If the Ninth Circuit upholds the Domino’s district court’s dismissal on due process grounds, the number of California website accessibility lawsuits in federal court may go down dramatically. Even if that occurs, we see no end to the website accessibility lawsuit surge elsewhere and expect that new plaintiffs’ firms will continue to enter the scene. While the current administration’s DOJ is not likely to push the website accessibility agenda, its inaction will not stop the lawsuits. Only an amendment to the ADA can do that, which we believe is highly unlikely. Thus, the best risk mitigation effort for covered entities is still to make their websites accessible as soon as possible, with the assistance of ADA Title III legal counsel experienced in website accessibility issues and reputable digital accessibility consultants.
The standards of website accessibility are yet to be transformed to official government regulation as we have not seen much modernization in ADA civil rights law regarding this aspect in the past years. However, people with disabilities are filing hundreds of complaints each year to vendors that have a strong online presence and provide supplemental services via websites and mobile applications that don’t comply with modern WCAG 2.1 accessibility standards.
I have a client that lives in an apartment complex with no ramp access and she was just approved and delivered a new Power Chair. The stairs are 28″ tall. We provided a ramp but it interferes with the gate that opens. The landlord is trying to find a solution but doesn’t want to put out any money if h doesn’t have too. I suggested to the land lord to build a ramp including a landing that we can install the approved portable ramp onto that was interfering with the gate and place it so it runs parallel with the gate to accommodate the client. We are not company that can install modular ramps (at this time) but the landlord doesn’t seem to want to help much and I was trying to get an answer for him of exactly what his responsibility is since this is the first time that we have encountered an issue with the portable ramps.
Accessible seating or accommodations in places of public amusement and resort, including theaters, concert halls and stadiums, but not including hotels and motels, shall be provided in a variety of locations so as to provide persons with disabilities a choice of admission prices otherwise available to members of the general public. When there are over 300 seats, dispersal is required, and when there are less, no dispersal is clearly indicated in the code. However, some trial courts have found that lack of dispersal creates a highlighted area — generally considered discriminatory. The building code does mention this, and further changes in the code to clarify this is quite likely.
The exact terms are undisclosed, however, ADA website accessibility settlements required companies to update their online and mobile presence to better accommodate the visually impaired. This includes code fixes and other changes that make websites and apps more compatible with screen reader technology. The cases were filed early 2017 and settled within weeks.
UPDATE: Since writing this post in August 2017, several important changes have taken place in the laws regarding ADA compliance for websites. On December 26, 2017, the Department of Justice announced that they have withdrawn the Obama-era Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking mentioned in this article which intended to require ADA website compliance. The DOJ’s withdrawal announcement stated, “The Department will continue to assess whether specific technical standards are necessary and appropriate to assist covered entities with complying with the ADA.”
Privately owned multi-family dwellings are not subject to the new CBC Chapter 11B accessibility requirements for EVCS. The new requirements do apply at public housing facilities which are defined below. CBC Chapter 11B accessibility requirements do not apply to Section 8 housing credit recipients – the Section 8 program is a housing voucher program, not a public housing program.
For close to seven years, since July of 2010, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has talked about issuing regulations specifically about web accessibility. At that time the US Department of Justice (DOJ) began developing accessibility guidelines for public websites under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). On December 26, 2017, the Department announced that those regulations were officially withdrawn.
Enforcement of the ADA, is typically left to private individuals and by necessity their attorneys. When an individual with a disability encounters a condition that inhibits their access or use of a building or facility in 49 states other than California, they are able to file suit and obtain correction of the condition. If an individual with a disability encounters the same condition in California, they are immediately eligible for $4,000 in statutory damages under California’s Civil Code Section 52, which makes any violation of the ADA (no matter how small) a violation of an individual’s civil rights. This has unfortunately created a significant cottage industry in California, where attorneys (operating under the umbrella of “facilitating access for the disabled”) will go after businesses with ADA violations, to simply pocket the $4,000 in statutory damages with an additional couple of thousand for attorney’s fees.
The good news for potential defendants is that the only remedies available in private ADA suits are injunctions that force you to come into compliance and attorneys’ fees. If the Department of Justice gets involved, they can seek civil fines and penalties. Hence, you need to do the risk/benefit analysis as to whether it is worth challenging the claim or not. This report says the lawsuits are on the rise.
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.