Most people are aware that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires public businesses to reasonably accommodate the disabled. But did you know that this requirement extends to websites? Even though the ADA was enacted long before the internet, it does impose certain obligations on business websites. You could be faced with a serious lawsuit for failing to follow the law. The Connecticut business law attorneys of Aeton Law Partners can help you become compliant. We can also defend your business in court if you are facing litigation.
The ADA’s website accessibility requirements
The ADA was enacted in 1990, years before businesses were online. Nonetheless, the law has been interpreted over the years to require companies to make their websites accessible to the disabled. Title III specifically requires businesses to provide reasonable accommodations to the public. The U.S. Department of Justice made clear in 2018 that it interprets Title III to apply to business websites.
If someone with a disability cannot access your website, it may not be compliant with the ADA. For instance, someone who is hard of hearing or deaf will need closed captioning for any audio on your site. A blind person will need alternate text for images. Even if your business is not physically located or registered in Connecticut, you could face legal problems. Someone within the state who accesses your site should be able to use it regardless of a disability.
The basics of web accessibility rules
A set of standards known as Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) has been developed by the World Wide Web Consortium. Courts considering ADA violations are increasingly relying on these guidelines to determine compliance with the law. Fortunately, there are numerous websites that can test your site for free. A Connecticut business law attorney can also review your site content to determine if there are accessibility issues.
One thing to be aware of is that WCAG rules are subject to constant change. Also, the more content you put on your website, the more likely it is to violate the law. A periodic review of your site, in light of the ADA, is therefore essential to avoiding liability.
How a Connecticut business law attorney can help
Our Connecticut business lawyers work with clients to ensure they comply with various state and federal laws. We can examine your company website to determine if there are any ADA or state-specific violations. If there are, we can help you take steps to remedy them.
More broadly, we can review your business inside and out to uncover any legal issues beyond the ADA. For instance, we can perform a compliance audit to check for tax law and employment law problems. We can also help your company adopt written policies and procedures to ensure regular internal compliance checks.
In the event your business is sued for violating the ADA or another law, we can defend you in court. Our litigation team understands the various laws that govern Connecticut businesses. Where possible, we will work to settle your lawsuit out of court and minimize damages. If necessary, however, we can defend your interests at trial.
Questions About the ADA and Web Accessibility? Let Us Answer Them
ADA violations are generally avoidable problems that can be resolved with the assistance of a Connecticut business law attorney. If you have questions about the ADA and web accessibility, Aeton Law Partners can help. We can also advise you as to other matters of Connecticut business law and advocate for you in court. Reach out to us today at [phone].