Web Accessibility Lawsuits and Settlements Are on the Rise
Many companies are quickly learning how powerful persons with disabilities can be.
Regulations around the globe are being implemented to ensure that all people have equal access to digital services such as websites and mobile apps. But not all companies are complying. Often an organization doesn’t even realize they’re not web accessible — other times they haven’t become accessible because they don’t know how to begin. But many businesses hope to fly below the radar and avoid dealing with the complications of becoming accessible on the web.
Are You at Risk of Legal Action?
Whatever the reason, being inaccessible can put your company at real risk of costly legal action and brand damage. Lawsuits and settlements related to web accessibility are increasing, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. If your website isn’t accessible, you can be legally liable — especially if you’re in a regulated industry.
While large corporations most often find themselves in the headlines, even small companies can be sued for an inaccessible website.
Rakesh Paladugula at Maxability has assembled a snapshot of the many accessibility lawsuits and settlements from 2014. The list includes organizations across several industries, including retail, government and education. Notable lawsuits in the airline industry have been as high as $2 million.
While fines are the most obvious penalty in a lawsuit, there are other significant consequences you should be aware of as well. A damaged brand can often be a greater loss than a single legal fine. Loss of reputation has lasting effects. And as persons with disabilities continue to gain a stronger public voice, the fallout of inaccessible digital services is becoming greater every year.
You Can Become Web Accessible!
Accessibility-related lawsuits and settlements may be a growing trend, but you can make sure it doesn’t affect your organization. As daunting as it may seem to become web accessible, it’s also achievable. Deque has the industry insiders with the expertise to guide you along the path to web accessibility — sensibly, strategically and confidently.
Need help getting started, or have some questions about web accessibility? Connect with us!
- Download our Digital Accessibility Liability infographic.
- Read about our web accessibility process.
- Sign up for a webinar on website accessibility.