How To Avoid An ADA Lawsuit
A key way to avoid an ADA lawsuit is to know the law and how it pertains to websites when it comes to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination based on a person’s dis/abilities. Through the ADA, the law requires equal access for everyone regardless of their dis/abilities for use of goods, services, and facilities that are for public use, including both private and publicly owned properties.
The ADA and the Digital World
The ADA has been around since 1990 and there are now many experts who know how to make sure a business is ADA compliant–but not as many people know how to do this for the digital world. A key reason for this is because even though the internet was around in 1990 it was all text based, and the average person did not use it nor did they have access to it if they wanted to.
As the internet has evolved into the visual, audio, and other sensory experiences it is today, it has come to light that even though the law was not written with digital spaces such as websites in mind, it can be applied to them. Advocates for people with disabilities suggest that as the internet and its virtual spaces become increasingly a part of our daily lives, it is becoming increasingly important to make sure that the internet is accessible to people of all abilities.
Seeking Legal Advice
When seeking legal advice about how to avoid an ADA lawsuit, it is important to do so from a lawyer that is licensed to protect the rights of people in the jurisdiction that your legal situation would be considered to be a part of.
The following are ADA compliance tips to consider in light of the many ADA lawsuits that have been filed in the last few years as well as possible ways to think about them in light of the current and future popularity of the internet and it being an integral part of our daily lives. Keep in mind there is no real black and white answer on how to become completely ADA compliant as the law is in flux, but there are ways to improve accessibility.
Knowledge: Knowledge is power. The Americans with Disabilities Act is a civil rights law that
prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. The more you are informed about
this and how it applies to your website, the more likely it will be for you to understand how to
avoid an ADA lawsuit.
Accessibility: Similar to the way a brick-and-mortar business needs to make things on their
property such as parking lots, entryways, restrooms, public spaces, etc., accessible to
people with disabilities, now websites need to be accessible to people with disabilities.
People who are hearing impaired, sight impaired, or those who are unable to manipulate a
mouse, amongst many other disabilities that might make it difficult for a person with a
disability to have full access to a website, should have reasonable accommodations made to
ensure access for people of different abilities.
Legal Advice: More and more lawyers are becoming educated in ADA law and how it applies
to new technologies such as the internet. There are many reasons to seek the help of
someone who is licensed to practice the area of law that your ADA website compliant
questions fall under. Be compliant with the law and ask for professional help to make sure
you are doing this.
There are many different ways to avoid an ADA lawsuit in addition to the ones mentioned here. If you are seeking legal advice about ADA compliance, you should seek it from a lawyer who is licensed to give it to you.