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Total Articles: 7

Federal Court Finds Telephonic Access Could Be an Alternative to Website Accessibility

A federal district court in Los Angeles last week endorsed the possibility that a business may be able to avoid making a website accessible if it provides the same goods and services through telephonic customer service. The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, in Gorecki v. Dave & Buster’s, Inc., No. 2:17-cv-01138-PSG-AGR (October 10, 2017), found that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) had mentioned this alternative to website compliance in its 2010 Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. But the court denied Dave & Buster’s motion for summary judgment because it had not established beyond factual dispute that its website direction, which stated, “If You Are Using A Screen Reader and Are Having Problems Using This Website, Please Call (888) 300-1515 For Assistance.,” was itself accessible to screen reading software.

DOJ Officially Shelves Long-Planned Title III Website Regulations

In what could prove to be a mixed bag for employers, the Department of Justice (DOJ) officially has shelved once-planned website accessibility regulations under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The decision should put to rest—for now—speculation that the Trump-era DOJ will enforce Title III’s provisions against companies whose websites are not accessible by screen-reader technology.

DOJ Disables Titles II and III Website Regulations

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has placed its once-planned website accessibility regulations under Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on an inactive list, putting to rest speculation about what the Trump administration may do with respect to the long-promised regulations. As published in the Unified Regulatory Agenda, a semiannual compilation of information about regulations under development by federal agencies, plans that once had the Title II and III regulations coming in Fiscal Years 2017 and 2018, respectively, are now inactive.

The ADA and the Internet

Most employers and business owners are generally aware of the requirements set forth by the ADA to accommodate accessibility to buildings and facilities by individuals with disabilities.

Federal Court Holds First Trial on Website Accessibility Under the ADA

A federal judge has found in Gil v. Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., (S.D.Fla. No. 16-23020-Civ-Scola) that a corporation violated Title III of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) because its website was inaccessible to individuals with vision-related disabilities. The opinion, verdict and order followed the first federal trial on the issue of website accessibility. Employers that are owners of places of public accommodation should take note of the decision and consider meeting the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0 AA) in order to mitigate potential risks.

More Businesses Face Lawsuits Challenging Website Accessibility

Executive Summary: Despite the recent explosion of lawsuits challenging the accessibility of websites under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced that it will not publish proposed revisions to the Title III regulations to address website accessibility until 2018. However, businesses should not view this as a reprieve or anticipate a slowdown in litigation. In fact, the DOJ continues to conduct investigations of website accessibility under both Title III and Title II (applicable to public entities, such as public universities). Additionally, plaintiffs' lawyers have filed class actions against a variety of businesses including on-line entertainment providers, retailers, providers of e-books, financial institutions, credit reporting agencies, public universities, and even the NBA and NCAA, alleging violations of Title III based on inaccessible websites. The DOJ has intervened in many of these lawsuits.

The Wave of Website and Other ADA Accessibility Claims – What You Should Know

Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), providing for equal access for persons with disabilities in places of public accommodation, has made the country far more accessible. Yet, given its highly technical (and often ambiguous) design, plaintiffs’ firms and disability rights advocates file claims over unlawful barriers and technical violations against even the most conscientious places of public accommodation (e.g., hotels, restaurants, theaters, convention centers, stores, service establishments, healthcare facilities, transportation depots, libraries, recreation places, schools, etc.). Fortunately for companies, Title III limits liability to injunctive relief and attorneys’ fees for prevailing parties, and creates opportunities to moot – or even foreclose – claims by eliminating barriers promptly or through a comprehensive remediation plan.
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