Make your website accessible or get your checkbook out!
March 26, 2013 9:02:00 AM EDT
In the past, large companies, such as Target and Netflix, agreed to settle lawsuits against them when the federal court found that websites fell within the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). What this meant, was that there was significant proof that their websites were not accessible to people with disabilities, and didn't include features such as audio descriptions of a photo or text box, or have closed captioning for videos.
On the flip side, there are instances of other federal judges ruling that online presences are not covered by the ADA, and that the Internet wasn’t even a consideration at the time Congress passed the Act.
However, the atmosphere is changing with the anticipation that later this year, the U.S. Department of Justice is expected to issue new regulations on website accessibility. This would clarify the law and make sure all websites are accessible to people living with disabilities.
Still, while there is still much uncertainty about the law, companies are increasingly seeking counsel about Web Accessibility so as to avoid litigation and the negative publicity that goes along with it.