Legal Marketing

Navigating the Uncertainty of ADA Accessibility “Tester” Lawsuits

ADA For Lawyers Websites

The Supreme Court to Decide Whether “Testers” Have Standing to Sue

ADA 4 Attorney websitesADA For Websites Introduction

ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessibility has gained traction in recent years, with increased lawsuits against businesses with allegedly inaccessible websites or physical locations. One controversial aspect of these cases involves “testers” – individuals who intentionally seek out potential violations without intending to use the services or products the businesses provide. With the U.S. Supreme Court agreeing to hear the case of Acheson Hotels v. Laufer, the question of whether these “testers” have legal standing to sue is finally being addressed.

The Importance of ADA Compliance in the Digital Age

As a full-service digital marketing agency, we understand the significance of ADA compliance, especially in the digital landscape. Ensuring that your website and physical locations are accessible to individuals with disabilities is not only a legal obligation but also sends a message that your business is inclusive and cares about all potential customers.

A Fictional Example: Jane’s Boutique

Jane, the owner of a small boutique, receives a lawsuit claiming that her website is not ADA compliant. The plaintiff, a “tester” with no intention of ever shopping at Jane’s Boutique, has filed the suit solely to force compliance. Jane is now faced with the difficult decision of whether to fight the lawsuit or make the necessary changes to her website, even though the plaintiff never intended to be her customer.

FAQs About ADA Accessibility and “Testers”

Q: What is the purpose of the ADA?

A: The ADA is a civil rights law prohibiting discrimination against individuals with disabilities. It ensures that individuals with disabilities have equal access to public accommodations, including websites and physical locations.

Q: What are some common ADA accessibility issues for websites?

A: Some common accessibility issues include lack of alt text for images, improper use of headings, insufficient contrast between text and background, and lack of keyboard navigation.

Q: How can I make sure my website is ADA-compliant?

A: Consult an expert specializing in ADA compliance to ensure your website meets the necessary standards. Regular audits and updates can help maintain compliance.

Q: What should I do if I receive an ADA accessibility lawsuit from a “tester”?

A: Consult with a legal professional to discuss your options. It may be in your best interest to address any accessibility issues promptly to avoid further legal complications.

ADA for law firmsADA For Lawyers Websites Conclusion

The outcome of the Acheson Hotels v. Laufer case will have significant implications for businesses and “tester” lawsuits. Regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision, it is crucial for businesses to prioritize ADA compliance, both for their websites and physical locations. By doing so, businesses can avoid potential legal complications and demonstrate a commitment to inclusivity and equal access for all customers.

Additional Reasons For ADA

In October 2022, Google had a massive change to the algorithm that decides who goes first on Google Search.  One of the indicators that was added to the mix was an increased focus on TRUST.   The logic goes if a site is more trustworthy, it should rank higher.  Elements of trust include is the site secure, is the author of the content (if presented) is credible (what else have they written that is relevant), does the site respect privacy (A separate privacy policy), does the site respect those with disabilities… yes there you have it.  Making an effort to be ADA compliant and simply being “the right thing to do” also gives you a Search Engine Optimization Bump!

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