Companies are Losing Web Cases: Spend Money on Web Access, not Lawyers

In less than two months, four different federal judges have said “Yes” to website accessibility. These cases, from Florida and New York, are a wake-up call to every business in the United States that serves the public: If you have a website, make it accessible so everyone can use it, including disabled people. Every business has a budget; every business watches how money is spent. These cases are but the most recent in a long-string of wake-up calls with a simple message: Spend your hard-earned dollars on accessibility, not on lawyers to fight it. Read more…

Blind People Cook: A Web Accessibility Story

Another day, another hit piece against law suits about website accessibility. Typically these articles are best ignored. But a recent piece in the New York Post demands attention. I’ve asked web accessibility leader and home cook extraordinaire Lucy Greco to join me in responding to the article, titled “Lawyers cash in on suits demanding ADA-compliant websites.” You’ll find out below why Lucy’s cooking skills are as relevant to this piece as her web expertise. Read more…

Rejected by the Los Angeles Times

On June 23, 2017, the Los Angeles Times published an op-ed titled “Is your company’s website accessible to the disabled? You’d better hope so.” The piece was mean spirited and full of inaccuracies about web accessibility. I took the piece’s alternative facts personally because the author wrongly claimed that Bank of America, Charles Schwab, and Safeway had been sued for web accessibility. I knew better — my clients, co-counsel and I had worked with each of these companies in Structured Negotiation. Joseph O’Connor and I tried to submit a response to the Los Angeles Times, but our efforts were rejected. Read more…

Web Accessibility for Grocers: Winn-Dixie Wasn’t Paying Attention

Last month the Winn-Dixie grocery chain lost the very first trial under the Americans with Disabilities Act about the accessibility of a private company’s website. A blind shopper had sued the chain when he couldn’t access online coupons and other parts of the company’s website. The judge’s verdict was big news; unlike most accessibility stories it was covered in the mainstream media. But web accessibility for grocery stores is nothing new. If Winn-Dixie had been paying attention, it would have known over three years ago that grocery chains were making their websites accessible. Winn-Dixie should not have waited for the legal knock on the door. When it came, it should not have put up a fight. Read more…

March 2017 Digital Accessibility Legal Update

This post includes legal developments about digital accessibility between December 13, 2016 and March 6, 2017. It supplements Lainey Feingold’s digital accessibility legal update presentations, including the legal update sessions at the 2017 CSUN Assistive Technology Conference. The series is illustrated by a toolbox because law has proven an effective tool to improve the accessibility and usability of digital content, print information and technology for everyone. There are many ways to use the law, reflected by the many tools in the toolbox and by the updates in this post. Read more…

The Gig Economy: Making it available to everyone

The gig economy: Flexible jobs! Extra money on the weekends! A quick ride (don’t worry about parking)! Meal delivery at your fingertips, and task rabbits to mow your lawn or build your Ikea furniture. Paralegals when you need them, no excess payroll when you don’t. “Feel at home” anywhere in the world—no hotel workers needed. Today, the term “gig economy” describes an increasing number of modern economic relationships in the United States and around the world. Where do disabled people fit in? Disability rights are implicated by new economic structures; the law is beginning to take notice. Read more…

Digital Access Legal Update – December 2016

This post includes legal developments about digital accessibility between May 8, 2016 and December 12, 2016. This is the final update during the Obama administration, an eight year period that has seen an explosion of legal activity by the federal government advancing digital accessibility. I wrote two pieces about how I think the election will impact the legal push for digital accessibility. Read more…

Digital Accessibility in the New Political Reality

Five days before the election I wrote a post about what a Donald Trump presidency could do to the ongoing struggle for equality in the digital space. I wrote from my heart and from a place of fear. While I am despondent over the election, and still believe what I wrote on November 3, I realize it was only half the story. Now I feel a new responsibility: to remind us all that digital accessibility is here to stay. That despite obstacles the new administration will throw in the path of progress, disabled people will continue to insist on their civil rights. And the law, possibly battered and bruised, or temporarily in retreat, will be there to help. Read more…

Post-Trump Digital #A11y Legal Update

As I’ve spoken and written about advancements in digital accessibility for the past few months, I’ve felt momentum is finally building for accessible information and technology, issues my clients, co-counsel and I have worked on for two decades. I’ve been excited to report how the United States Department of Justice is an accessibility champion and how the Deaf community is fighting (and winning) for the right to captioned media. It’s been gratifying to share information about disabled students claiming their right to accessible course materials, supported by the federal Department of Education. And I’ve been proud to report on the organizations that continue to work collaboratively, without lawsuits, in Structured Negotiation, the subject of my just-published book. All that is at stake in this election. Read more…