One-in-five users require accommodations to use your site. Failure to comply with Section 508 of the Department of Justice's ADA (American with Disabilities Act) Standards for Accessible Design could expose your company to hefty fines, the risk of expensive criminal and civil litigation as well as a reputation for being unfriendly to the disabled. Websites who do not meet WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility standards can be fined up to $50,000 for a first violation and $100,000 for a second, and even more for compensation of damages. Patagonia, Ace Hardware, Aeropostale, Bed Bath & Beyond, PeaPod, Estee Lauder, JC Penny, Home Depot as well as the Target and Carnival Cruiselines are the most recent companies sued by blind plaintiffs, alleging that the retailers' websites are not accessible to the blind as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in federal lawsuits filed against businesses and governments, alleging that their website violates the ADA guidelines by being insufficiently accessible to people with disabilities. In 2017, there were at least 814 such lawsuits against organizations in a variety of industries, from banks and credit unions to restaurants and e-commerce websites. The defendants include small businesses as well as major corporations such as Nike, Burger King, and the Hershey Company. The Trump administration's DOJ had previously promised to begin using WCAG 2.0 as its formal standard for web accessibility and as a result the number of ADA website lawsuits is not expected to slow down any time soon and has suppressed 10,000 lawsuits filed in 2018 alone.
Interested in how your website measures up? Media Direct Marketing can help you bring your web site up to date regardless of size or programming language. Contact us now at (800)422-2016 to schedule a free consultation with an ADA expert that will provide a comprehensive web site report on your current site's compliance status.