2018 Website ADA Cases Surpass 2017 In First 6 Months

2018 Website ADA Cases Surpass 2017 In First 6 Months

As reported by the law firm, Seyfarth Shaw LLP, the number of ADA website accessibility lawsuits in federal court in the first 6 months of 2018 shot passed all of 2017. So far, 2018 has seen 1053 federal lawsuits, vs 814 in 2017. 

comparative graph of 1053 lawsuits in first half of 2018 vs 814 in 2017
 

Seyfarth Shaw's study revealed the vast concentration of these suits landed in New York and Florida.

Most 2018 ADA Website Accessibility Lawsuits in New York

chart showing breakdown of website ADA lawsuits by state

What is not included in this study are state suits, as well as demand letters. Its widely believed that the demand letters are most prolific and are the primary threat to most businesses. These threaten lawsuit to force settlement that includes payments plus website auditing & remediation, with annual auditing which they dictate. Not fun.

How To Avoid ADA Website Accessibility Lawsuits

Avoid all of this by first determining where you are in the lifecycle of your website. If you're anywhere close to redesign, do that now. Make sure of course to select a website development partner with expertise in building ADA complaint websites. Here is a guide to choosing an ADA web design partner.

If you're not ready to redesign your website, and want to make your current website ADA / WCAG compliant, then this is a three step process.

  1. Audit your current website. Do not rely only on automated scanners. They can only catch ~25% of issues. Also be wary of free or "cheap" website accessibility testers. You get what you pay for. The best practice is 3-fold, starting with automated (using good software), manual testing, and assistive technology testing
  2. Remediate your website and retest.
  3. Train designers, developers, and especially content contributors.

Another suggestion is to add a "Website Accessibility Statement" to your website footer along side your privacy policy. Here is a best practice guide to writing your own website accessibility policy/statement.

Good luck and reach out to us if you need assistance.