People Law | Does Your Business Site Adhere To Title III of the ADA?
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Does Your Business Site Adhere To Title III of the ADA?

Does Your Business Site Adhere To Title III of the ADA?

Is your website covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act? The short answer is: possibly. This area of the law continues to evolve, with differences from jurisdiction to jurisdiction based on the type of website. But make no mistake: lawsuits alleging lack of website accessibility are hot. The most common allegation is that the company website is inaccessible to visually-impaired customers, although some cases now involve mobile apps. Such customers often rely on screen-reader software like JAWS or NVDA to interact with and access a site’s content. If the website is not compatible with this or similar screen-reader technology, most visually-impaired customers will not be able to use the website.

Companies seeking to navigate these issues should start by addressing two basic questions: (1) Does your website engage in commercial activity for the benefit of the general public; and if so (2) Will the law treat your website as a public accommodation, or the service of a public accommodation? If your website sells goods or services directly to the public, or if it engages in sufficient commercial activity, it may be covered as a “sales” or “service” establishment under the ADA. If it is covered, many jurisdictions will require you to provide a website that is accessible to visually-impaired consumers and other individuals with disabilities, particularly if your website has a “nexus” to the goods or services sold out of a brick-and-mortar store.

Here are the basics of what you need to know to assess whether your website is covered and, if so, what you should do about it.

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