If you run a business with an eCommerce storefront, you may be subject to ADA web compliance lawsuits and worry about settlements. Thanks to the government refusing to specify terms to protect business owners or provide support on ensuring your website is compliant, you may find yourself subject to a court summons. No one wants that, to go through a lengthy process.
The American WIth Disabilities Act was passed to ensure that people with disabilities in the US received suitable public accommodations when pursuing businesses. Wheelchair users, for example, would require ramps for a number of buildings that serve the public, and people with visual impairments may require Braille menus at restaurants. The ultimate goal was to ensure that facilities could benefit everyone and to reduce systematic ableism.
As you can imagine, this law is important for people with disabilities. Otherwise, they may not receive the accommodation needed to make a purchase or peruse a business. With the Internet, however, the government could not predict that the digital frontier would need to meet the same conditions.
Generally, if your website is serving a general populace and is within the private sector, it must provide accommodation. Does this sound very vague? It is; many websites fall under this criteria, including universities and hotels.
To ensure that you can withstand a potential ADA lawsuit, you need to comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, also called the WCAG. It has three tiers, with I being the basic compliance a website can have, and III being the most advanced. Many businesses should aim for Tier II, somewhere in the middle. These guidelines are available online for perusal.
If someone wants to file suit, they’ll have a lawyer send papers to your business. An ADA lawyer will file a complaint and any relevant affidavits. They will allow you to send proof that your website is compliant but will respond promptly.
One thing to take caution is that the court is more likely to favor the plaintiff. The burden of proof falls on you to prove that your website is ADA compliant. If it’s not, then you will likely have to pay a settlement.
In some cases, lawsuit trolls just want money. Their letter may have an offer that they will “drop the suit” if you give money. If they say that, don’t concede to them; more likely than not, they will want to avoid paying court fees and dealing with having to argue their case.
At Site Compliance, we want to ensure that you have the right means to protect yourself and your website from ADA lawsuits. Our Compliance Testing and Certification Tool is designed to do the job well, and will vet each of your pages for compliance.
Reach out to us today to get started. Our tool will help review your site to make sure that you are safe from lawsuits. Let us help you master WCAG 2.1, the newest version of the guidelines. That way a plaintiff won’t see you in court.