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…

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…

The Motley Fool Announces Accessibility Initiative

Alexandria Va.,-January 13, 2017-The Motley Fool today announced enhancements to its websites, mobile applications and emails to provide increased accessibility for individual investors with disabilities. “The ‘Motley’ in our name illustrates that our mission is to help people in all circumstances and in all stages of life,” said Chris Harris, Accessibility Project Manager at The Motley Fool. “We are excited that our enhanced services will allow us to reach and serve a broader community of Fools on their investing journeys.” Read more…

The Motley Fool Accessible Information Agreement

Congratulations to The Motley Fool! Posted here is the digital accessibility settlement agreement The Motley Fool reached with blind investors to ensure that its award-winning website, mobile application and emails are available to people with and without disabilities. The Motley Fool participated in Structured Negotiation — no lawsuit was needed or filed. 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…

Care about Digital Access? Let the U.S. Government Know

The United States Department of Justice needs to hear that web accessibility regulations matter to disabled people. Can you help? This post will explain how. A new government notice  asks 123 questions about public sector web accessibility.  You can read the full notice, but you don’t have to read all the questions, or even answer any particular one.  The most important thing people who care about full digital equality and inclusion can do is tell the government why public sector web accessibility matters. Read more…