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Archive for the "ADA" Topic

Accessibility and Healthcare: Challenges for Patients and Providers

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One out of every five people in the U.S. – that’s 56 million Americans – has a disability, and those individuals need access to healthcare. But often those disabilities create challenges in accessing healthcare services and technology. In this new blog series we’ll examine some of the most important issues related to accessibility and the health care industry. Stay tuned in the coming weeks as we discuss: Challenges with Healthcare Technology Although new technology makes many aspects of healthcare easier for patients, that new technology is not always accessible to persons with disabilities. For example, many healthcare providers are switching… Read More

What Will a Trump Presidency Mean for Digital Accessibility?

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In the wake of Donald Trump’s election to the presidency, many are wondering how the new administration will affect the digital accessibility space. In the short term, we see it as unlikely that a Trump presidency will have a major impact on the status quo. The Americans with Disabilities Act Donald Trump has never specifically addressed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), so it is difficult to predict what his stance would be. In the past, scaling back rights for people with disabilities has proven to be politically unpopular. Given that neither advancing nor curtailing the ADA is among Trump’s… Read More

ADA and the Internet: ADA Settlements – Customer Service

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This is the 7th and final installment in the ADA and the Internet Series. Settlements will typically contain language about providing customer service to users with disabilities. This includes a requirement that you provide a method for users with disabilities to access customer service as well as a requirement to train your customer service representatives so they understand how to properly handle and escalate issues related to accessibility. For example, when someone contacts customer service and says “I have an issue using the site in JAWS,” we don’t want the response to be “What is JAWS?” Representatives should also know… Read More

ADA and the Internet: ADA Settlements – Testing and Bug Fixing

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This is the 6th installment in the ADA and the Internet Series. Automated Web Accessibility Testing Purchasing and deploying an automated web accessibility testing tool is a key part of any web accessibility program. As part of the settlement, most clients will need to secure and use an automated testing tool that covers web, mobile and electronic documents. Automated testing is another basic requirement we see in most agreements. While this can be done internally, most clients outsource this and have SSB run automated tests. There is no material cost associated with this approach as we can allocate a few… Read More

ADA and the Internet: ADA Settlements – Policies, Public Statements, and Personnel

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This is the fifth installment in our ADA and the Internet Series Web Accessibility Policy Most settlements have a requirement for a web accessibility policy and DoJ settlements have been including them for some time. Generally, we would agree that requiring a defined, written, and widely distributed digital accessibility policy is a best practice. One item we would recommend to include is the ability to update the policy upon written notice to the other party. If they choose not to object, the new policy would go in place. If they choose to object, you get together and sort it out…. Read More

ADA and the Internet: ADA Settlements – Third-Party Solutions and WCAG Carve-Outs

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This is the fourth installment in our ADA and the Internet Series Third Party Solutions Third party services and content are often carved out in agreements to allow for time to evaluate new and alternative solutions. We have also seen ads and non-functional components of websites be carved out for similar reasons. A reasonable commitment for most parties is that when evaluating, purchasing, or renewing third party solutions, accessibility will be evaluated as part of the process. One way to ensure delivery of accessible solutions by third-party providers is to revise your new contract language reflecting your organization’s policy on… Read More

ADA and the Internet: ADA Settlements – Fitting Accessibility Compliance into Your Product Lifecycle

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This is the third installment in our ADA and the Internet Series If your organization is involved in web-related ADA litigation, one of the most important things your legal counsel can do is fight for a realistic accessibility compliance timeline. We have seen settlements with timelines in the 1-2 year range. In our experience, trying to get a system into a high level of compliance with WCAG 2.0 AA standards in anything less than two years is exceptionally difficult. Our general recommendation would be a five-year remediation period as that allows for the best cost efficiency and quality while still… Read More

ADA and the Internet: So You Got a Demand Letter…Now What?

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A number of our clients have received demand letters from ADA plaintiff’s attorneys. As there seems to be a great bit of confusion behind these letters, I’d like to share a few notes to clear things up. First, take a deep breath. The vast majority of demand letters we have seen are boilerplate letters that are based principally on automatic test results and are little informed by expert testing. You may not have much—if anything—to worry about in terms of remediating your website. Next, don’t call us. Don’t call any technical expert in the digital accessibility space. Instead, contact your… Read More

ADA and the Internet: Where Things Stand

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With demand letters and litigation increasing, we are often asked about the current legal situation when it comes to the ADA and the Internet. Here is a quick summary of the legal status for digital accessibility, enforcement of the ADA when it applies to websites, and the regulatory status as it pertains to updating the ADA to specifically include requirements for the Internet. ADA Legal Status for Digital Accessibility There are no specific published technical requirements that define how the ADA is applied to the Internet. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t be sued under the ADA if your… Read More

Colorado Bag & Baggage Found in Violation of ADA and Unruh Act

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In 2015, a customer with a visual disability filed a suit against retailer Colorado Bag & Baggage, citing “numerous access barriers” preventing him from using the retail website. ColoradoBaggage.com was not accessible when visited by an individual using screen reading software. Attorneys for the plaintiff gave several examples of these accessibility barriers in the complaint, including: Missing alternative text for images Empty links Missing form labels These and other violations prevented the plaintiff from accessing information, goods, and services from the website. The court issued a summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff, stating: Plaintiff has met his burden with… Read More

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