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disabled icon facing gap - title i of ADA website compliance

Is Web Accessibility for ADA Title i The Overlooked Threat to Employers?

Dave Gibson

While demand letters and suits have focused on ADA's Title iii and its application to websites' accessibility, has Title i been overlooked?

For employers of 15 or more, "Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits private employers, State and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment." Highlighted here is "job application procedures". 

If you only post job openings to your website or only take job applications through your website, are you violating ADA Title i if that path is not accessible? How does a blind person review your current job openings and apply if that content and process is only provided online?

Now, what's also significant here is the additional penalty exposure here. While plaintiff's cannot collect damages or relief for themselves under the currently popular Title III, they can under Title I. Compensatory and punitive damages however are limited based on number of employees and range from $50,000 for 15-100 employees to $300,000 for more than 500.

Since many employers rely on digital means to advertise and accept job applications, this should also be added to the reasons presented by Title III for focusing on Web Accessibility.