Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) mandates that public accommodation must be provided to disabled persons to allow for the “full and equal enjoyment” of the related privileges, goods, services, advantages and accommodations as those provided to able-bodied persons. The owner of any business is responsible for making sure those accommodations are made with “reasonable modification.” The ADA makes it very clear that a business that does not provide for that accommodation is engaging in unlawful discrimination 42 U.S.C. section 12182(b)(2)(A)(iii).
The most recent case from the Ninth Circuit Court addressing this subject is Robles v. Domino’s Pizza, Inc., 2019 WL 190134, decided on January 15, 2019. There, the court reaffirmed the rule adopted by “the many district courts that have confronted this issue[;],” i.e., that the ADA applies to websites and mobile apps that connect customers to the goods and services of restaurants and other places of public accommodations. (Source: National Law Review)
Criterion also provides our client’s with WCAG legal support that can verify, minimize, or entirely debunk claims of web accessibility non-compliance under ADA Title III. Criterion’s audit findings are used by our client’s legal counsel to minimize settlement payouts and, in some cases, may result in the withdrawal of a legal action in its entirety.
If you have received a demand letter or lawsuit concerning the WCAG accessibility compliance of your website, application, or mobile app, contact us immediately for assistance!
At Criterion, we believe the best way to ensure your website or application is truly Section 508 and ADA web compliant is to ask accessibility experts with disabilities! “Real World” web accessibility auditing requires input from WCAG experts with disabilities because, in the world of Section 508 and ADA web compliance, their disability is a skill set people without disabilities can’t replicate!
Automated web accessibility scanning tools and artificial intelligence (AI) use algorithms to inspect the HTML markup of websites. Unfortunately, these automated tools capture less than 20% of all WCAG failures. Remember, the majority of WCAG guidelines require testing with assistive technologies (screen readers, voice recognition, keyboard only navigation, etc.) to determine compliance.
The only way to bring a website into Section 508, ADA, or WCAG compliance is to repair all relevant HTML markup and source code errors. Companies that install “website accessibility plugins” or “website accessibility overlays” on their websites will remain inaccessible to people with disabilities and at continued risk for litigation under ADA Title III.
Companies are responsible for ensuring their website supports widely used professional-grade assistive technologies, not forcing less robust accessibility features on customers with disabilities via the use of accessibility plugins or accessibility overlays.
Note: In 2020, over 100 federal lawsuits were filed under ADA Title III against companies that installed website accessibility plugins and/or website accessibility overlays on their websites.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are technical guidelines referenced when testing for ADA website accessibility. Today, WCAG 2.1 A & AA is considered the minimum standard for ADA website compliance.
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Criterion’s web accessibility training courses are written by Criterion’s subject-matter experts and designed to provide the knowledge required to create and maintain WCAG compliant websites, applications, and documents.
Note: Criterion’s online training courses are only available as part of our Section 508 & ADA web compliance audit services.
From a technical perspective, achieving immediate Section 508 and ADA web compliance is straightforward process that requires a corporate mandate, IT resources, and budget. However, Criterion’s premium web accessibility package also assists clients with long-term WCAG compliance by introducing best practices in the following areas: