New Online Accessibility Act introduced to Congress would require businesses to make their website and mobile apps accessible

Article shared courtesy of NRN.com

Joanna Fantozzi | Oct 02, 2020

 

The Online Accessibility Act — legislation that was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday by Reps. Ted Budd, (R-N.C.) and Lou Correa, (D-Calif.) — would officially extend the Americans with Disabilities Act to consumer-facing digital accessibility. Under the extension of the ADA, businesses would have to make their websites and apps accessible to the visually impaired. Currently, the law only applies to “public accommodations,” which only extends to physical locations.

“Retailers want to serve all customers, and that includes those who are blind or visually impaired,” National Retail Federation chief administrative officer and general counsel Stephanie Martz said. “This bill makes it clear that the ADA applies to websites and requires that businesses make their websites accessible, but it also sets clear rules on what that means. This should put an end to frivolous lawsuits that have diverted resources that could be better used to make sure online products and services are easily available to everyone. Equal access to the internet is increasingly important with the rapid growth of online commerce and particularly the spike in online shopping we’ve seen during the pandemic.”

Lawsuits over ADA access on websites and mobile apps have become increasingly common. One high-profile case, which involved Domino’s, went all the way up to the Supreme Court in October 2019. In the case, the Supreme Court denied a petition from Domino’s in response to a lower courts decision that ruled in favor of f a blind man named Guillermo Robles who sued the chain when he was unable to order pizza off the Domino’s website or mobile app even with screen reading technology.

Businesses currently can follow the rules laid out in the Web Content Accessibility guidelines established by the Web Accessibility Institute. Those that are in “substantial compliance” with these guidelines or are offering equivalent access through an “alternative method” would be deemed to be in compliance with the ADA, though the Justice Department would be required to issue regulations spelling out these definitions.

“Last year, over 2,000 website accessibility lawsuits were filed by plaintiffs alleging that certain websites were not ADA compliant,” Rep. Bud said in a statement. “This bill solves the problem by providing guidance to businesses on how to bring their websites into compliance. If our bill is passed, job-creators will be able to avoid costly lawsuits and be given a roadmap for how to help their disabled customers access online content.”

If passed, violators could be fined $20,000 for a first offense and up to $50,000 for every subsequent offense. Private lawsuits would be allowed but only after companies had exhausted remedies through administrative compliance.

Back

What Clients Say About Patrice & Associates

  • I am grateful to have met Corina and will surely have a professional working relationship with her for years to come!

    Corina Mack was extremely thorough and quick to respond to all of the needs of myself as well as her business client. Her ability to communicate between the 2 of us made the process so quick. Corina was very knowledgeable about the company she was representing and their current team that was in place. Sometimes companies receive an overwhelming amount of applications for positions and Corina’s ability to pre-screen potential candidates surely expedited this businesses needs to fill their role.           Regards, John R. Guyon III I am grateful to have met Corina Mack and will surely have a professional working relationship with her for years to come!
  • Erin DeFreitas was Top - Notch!

    Could not have been better!

                          Thank You!     Eddie T. Erin DeFreitas was top-notch!
  • I am beyond thankful Jaclynn Graybill!

    Jackie was my recruiter and she truly is an exceptional addition and excellent employee!  Patrice & Associates provided amazing service which made my decision to chose this organization to work for seamless.  I have referred Jackie to a few of my friends, and I am confident they will receive the same outstanding experience as well!

    All the best,

    Chantal

    I am beyond thankful Jaclynn Graybill!
  • I give Jay a 10 out of 10! 

    Jay Gray is an exceptional recruiter and someone who truly cares about what his client is seeking for employment. Jay helped me through the entire hiring process and made me feel confident about my new career opportunity. I am truly grateful to have had his help. Once again, thank you for you service and it really did help me in a time I needed someone like Jay to come in and help secure a position that valued my worth. I’m really enjoying my position and I’m fortunate for the help!               Much Thanks! Walker Patterson I give Jay a 10 out of 10!
  • I have been nothing but completely happy with Jonathan Litt

    Jonathan Litt has been absolutely amazing during the process of getting me hired for a new position. I’ve been in hospitality for many years, as a Director of Finance in hotels. The last year and a half has been quite difficult, even for those of us who remained employed during the pandemic. After a year of running a department alone due to property wide layoffs, a stressful transition (brand and management company), working crazy hours, along with a 20% paycut for 9 months, I started feeling very overwhelmed and drained. I told myself it might be time for a change and I was going to let the universe help me. And, it happened! Jonathan Litt found my resume and reached out to me inquiring if I was interested in a Finance Manager position, in the Food world. And, I thought that it was worth speaking to him.
    Immediately, I felt this position might be a great fit for me. From the very first email, and texts, he was amazing. He is so professional and helpful, down to helping with revising my resume to point out things I hadn’t even thought of, to helping with getting prepared for the interview. I’m so confident in my abilities but always hated interviews because you never remember the things you want to explain or the right questions to ask. I also find it to be amazing that he reaches out via text because we all know how much easier texting can be these days when you’re in meetings and/or have deadlines and cannot always hop on a call. I was offered the position and start in 2 weeks and I’m so excited! I’m grateful that I can stay in finance, while taking a chance in a new direction, albeit still in hospitality, and will finally have a better work/life balance.
    I would absolutely recommend Jonathan Litt not only for anyone seeking a new role or for companies seeking the next “right fit” for their business. I look forward to keeping Jonathan in my circle of contacts.
    Thanks,
    Erica Garner
    I have been nothing but completely happy with Jonathan Litt