Amid the ADA Litigation Surge, More Companies Focus on Compliance
If you attended any of our webinars, saw us speak at a conference, or followed us online over the past three years, then you have heard us discuss the rise in web accessibility cases filed in federal court. According to Seyfarth Shaw LLP, the number of web accessibility lawsuits has continued to increase rapidly. In fact, we see a 129% increase from 2014-2018. Keep in mind that this does not include demand letters – only cases filed in federal court!
There is a lot of negative press due to lawsuits and demand letters, and that has motivated companies to invest in accessibility. But, we also see a similar surge in accessibility conferences, workshops, and online training courses. Awareness is growing and more people are contacting us every day to learn what they can do.
Back in 2015, the majority of our work focused on government websites, PDFs, PowerPoint presentations, and even emails. Most companies that we talked to were unaware of accessibility so we did a lot of education, but it did not move past that.
The trend shifted for us in 2017. The rise in lawsuits fueled a similar spike in demand from corporations. Early on, we heard from companies that were sued and needed assistance. Many of the corporations that we work with now are being proactive. They understand that they may lose customers due to inaccessible websites and mobile apps and that it is the right thing to do.
We’re seeing the turn now, and we are seeing overall interest in general education. Does my app have to be compliant? What about our videos? What else do we need to do? Can’t we just add a widget to our site?
There is still a long way to go. We typically hear that 75-85% of websites are currently inaccessible but it appears we have at least turned a corner. We also work with disabled users and learn about their frustrations every day. Remember the widget that you added to your website to make it instantly compliant? Did you know that it can interfere with screen readers? We hear the frustration from users who encounter an “accessible” site just to have their screen reader drowned out by a widget that’s supposed to guarantee accessibility.
If you don’t know where to start or just have questions, then call us. We offer training, consulting, and accessibility auditing and monitoring services. We’re happy that you’re taking the first step.