Archive for the "ADA" Topic

Winn-Dixie Decision in Florida Sets Landmark Precedent in Digital Accessibility

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For the first time ever, a court has ruled that failure to make a website accessible violated Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. In a landmark decision, Judge Robert Scola Jr. of the Southern District of Florida ruled that grocery chain Winn-Dixie’s website violated Title III and ordered to make its website WCAG 2.0 compliant. The case, Gil v. Winn Dixie Stores, Inc., centered on the inability of the plaintiff, Juan Carlos Gil, to access Winn-Dixie’s website. Gil is legally blind and has cerebral palsy, and accesses the internet through the use of screen reader software. The focus… Read More

Traveling with Disabilities: Ground Transportation, Hotels, & Entertainment

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In our final installment of this series on digital accessibility for the travel and hospitality industry, we look at ground transportation, hotels, and entertainment. Please click here for Part One and Part Two. Ground Transportation Booking rental cars, taxis, ride shares, trains, and busses come with many of the same difficulties as booking air travel: Websites or apps that do not work with screen readers Important information written on images (and missing alt text) Date picker fields that are not accessible without using a mouse PDF schedules that are not tagged properly Physical accessibility information not listed on the website… Read More

Getting There and Back Again: Air Travel for People with Disabilities

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When booking air or ground transportation, travelers with disabilities come across myriad problems. Today, we’ll look at the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) and the important functions of the air travel experience that should be accessible to all travelers, regardless of disability. Air Travel & the ACAA Requirements Website accessibility requirements are in effect for airlines operating flights within or to the U.S. or selling tickets to the U.S. public. Under the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), these airlines are required to ensure that the public-facing content of their websites conforms to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level… Read More

Making Travel Websites Accessible to People with Disabilities

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Travelers with disabilities come across many barriers when planning, booking, and taking a trip, whether for business or pleasure. Some of these may only be minor inconveniences, but others can make travel extremely difficult or even impossible without help. When thinking about disability, organizations think first about those who are blind, deaf, or in a wheelchair. However, it is important to consider the full range of disabilities, including “invisible” ones like colorblindness, arthritis, autism, or dyslexia. These conditions can affect how travelers interact with your websites, mobile apps, kiosks, or other information and communications technology. While the Americans with Disabilities… Read More

2016 Legal Landscape Update: Year In Review

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In 2016, the number of lawsuits for digital accessibility increased dramatically. With the court cases and settlements of previous years, the message was loud and clear: the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applied to digital accessibility and the Department of Justice (DOJ) was going to be enforce digital accessibility. Lawsuits For those cases that made it to court, the prevailing question was whether an Internet site could be considered a “place of public accommodation,” a requirement under the ADA. Courts seemed split on this issue; some courts ruled that a website was subject to the digital accessibility standards implied in… Read More

ADA and the Web for Retailers – The Road to Accessibility

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In my previous two posts, I discussed how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to retail websites as places of public accommodation, and the specific technical requirements SSB recommends in order to be compliant. In this post I’ll share some tips on the process of getting your digital assets into compliance. Be Proactive – Planning Ahead Pays Similar to retrofitting physical structures to address accessibility, the cost to retrofit an existing website for accessibility – both in time and dollars – can be extensive. The simplest way to minimize cost is to integrate accessible design and conformance testing into the… Read More

2016 Legal Landscape Update: Healthcare

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Overview In 2016, we saw an uptick in lawsuits related to digital accessibility across a growing number of industries, with most of the cases settling out of court. The healthcare sector was no exception, emphasizing the fact that every person, including those with disabilities affecting their ability to access digital services, must have equal access to healthcare. Accessibility Under the Affordable Care Act On May 18, a final rule for Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was published in the Federal Register. Section 1557 prohibits discrimination on the basis of a variety of classifications, including disability, and works in conjunction with… Read More

2016 Legal Landscape Update: Streaming Services and Entertainment

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In 2016, the number of lawsuits for digital accessibility increased dramatically. With the court cases and settlements of that and previous years, the legal message is loud and clear: the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to digital services and the Department of Justice (DOJ) is enforcing that. That message was heard across many industries in 2016, including some big names in video streaming services and other entertainment providers Netflix Netflix reached an agreement with Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) to provide audio description for some of its titles through its DVD rental and streaming services. An audio description is a second, concurrent… Read More

ADA and the Web for Retailers – Technical Requirements

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In my earlier post, I talked about the increasing number of web-related lawsuits being filed under the ADA, the potential costs associated with litigation and other reasons why retailers should be concerned about the accessibility of their web and mobile content. Concerned with mitigating their risk, our retail clients typically want to know what set of technical requirements they need to meet to conform to the ADA, specifically the Title III public accommodations requirements. While no published regulations currently exist defining technical conformance, a variety of retail companies have been sued for the inaccessibility of their websites under the ADA. SSB advises… Read More

ADA and the Web – What Retailers Need to Know

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Twenty-five years ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law, prohibiting discrimination based on disability. Most retailers understand that physical spaces must conform to specific design requirements for accessibility under the ADA, but in recent years the scope of the law is being interpreted more broadly. The argument has effectively been made that online services constitute “public accommodations.” The Department of Justice’s (DoJ) policy on website accessibility states that Title III of the ADA addresses businesses that are places of public accommodation, and as a result, the effective communication rule applies to entities that use the internet as… Read More

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