Digital Accessibility Legal Updates on LFLegal (May 1 – July 10, 2022)

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This article is about new things in the digital access legal space. It has links to other parts of this website. One update is about a lawsuit. Deaf people sued because the company’s programs that would help them advance in their professions were not accessible. The parties agreed that the company will offer captions and sign language interpreters for deaf professionals. Another update is about new accessibility regulations in Kenya. The new rules will help disabled people in Kenya participate in the digital world.

old fashioned typewriter with a sheet of paper in it where the word "Update" has been typed

Below you will find new and updated articles about the digital accessibility legal landscape posted on this website since May 1, 2022. This is a time (like many) when I’m holding two conflicting realities. First, the law continues to recognize the right of disabled people to participate in the digital world (law = good).

At the same time, the recent U.S. Supreme Court eliminating the constitutional right to abortion in the United States poses serious threats to the rights and lives of disabled people. (Law = bad. Read the statement from disability organizations on the decision and its impact.)

A lesser talked-about recent Supreme Court Opinion could signal a time when the Department of Justice’s help with digital accessibility will be given less respect by courts (called “deference”). I share the updates here knowing how precarious and precious rights can be.

(For other articles on this site about various facets of digital accessibility, check out the Articles page of this website for a short description of every article in chronological order, most current first. For a big list of all updates and articles posted in January 2022 New Year, New Digital Accessibility Content on LFLegal. The Topics page gives you every article on the site organized into topics. And check out the Legal Update section for articles about the digital accessibility legal landscape.

Here are the new articles and updates on this website about the digital accessibility legal space since May 1st, 2022:

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SHRM Settlement with Deaf Professionals

Professional development courses must be accessible: New lawsuit settlement in case against SHRM. This article describes a settlement addressing captioning, sign language interpreters, policies and other aspects of full inclusion of deaf professionals in professional development courses. Posted on July 9. 2022.

ADA-covered organizations don’t escape liability by contracting

In June, 2022, the DOJ told a federal court in Colorado that a school district was liable for disability discrimination by school resource officers even though the officers were not district employees but instead were contractors. This case is not about digital accessibility, but since both public and private sector organizations often contract out digital accessibility work, this case is a reminder that organizations cannot escape ADA responsibility simply by contracting out work. This is an update to the October 2021 article titled Legal Update: U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Attorneys Offices, Championing Digital Access. Posted on July 10, 2022.

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Class Action Order in Inaccessible Kiosk Case

US Federal judge decides that a lawsuit against LabCorp for inaccessible checkin kiosks can proceed as a nationwide class action. This is an update to the article first written in 2018 titled Kiosk Accessibility, the Law is Paying attention. Posted on June 28, 2022.

Domino’s Pizza Case Finally Ends

The Domino’s web and mobile app accessibility case has finally settled. I wrote about the settlement in an update to the 2021 article titled Another Big Win in the Domino’s Pizza Accessibility Saga. This is one of several articles you’ll find on this website about the Domino’s case. Posted on June 26, 2022.

New Accessibility Regs in Kenya

In May 2022 Kenya published its first digital accessibility standards. I wrote about this landmark advancement for Kenyans with disabilities in this update to my article titled Digital Accessibility Laws around the Globe. Posted on June 18, 2022.

This article was first written in 2013 in honor of the 3rd annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day. My attempts to keep up with the rapidly developing global legal environment depend on the kindness of the global accessibility community. If you visit the page and see something outdated or missing, please let me know.

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) hiring tools

In late May, 2022, both the US Department of Justice and the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued important guidance about potential disability discrimination when using AI hiring tools. I wrote about the new guidance in an article titled Two US Government Agencies Warn about Hiring Technology that Discriminates against Disabled Applicants. Posted on May 29, 2022.

What about the numbers?

Typically I don’t write at length (or at all) about the number of digital accessibility lawsuits filed because a focus on the numbers can lead to fear and quick fixes like one-line-of-code overlays that create barriers and don’t work. A focus on numbers takes away the focus on people with disabilities, which is what digital accessibility is and should be about. And a focus on numbers can lead to thoughts that disabled people and disability rights lawyers are just “in it for the money,” forgetting that the Americans with Disabilities Act and digital accessibility are about the right to participate in the digital world.

Still, for some organizations and technology providers the “numbers” are part, or maybe even all, of the business case. The 2022 Midyear Report on ADA Digital Accessibility lawsuits was published by UsableNet on June 30, 2022. You’ll find lots of numbers there.

For similar reasons, I don’t tend to write about cases where plaintiffs lose a web accessibility case for reasons that make sense to me. Although sadly, these cases can and sometime do harm ethical cases, including “testing cases” that have been a mainstay of civil rights enforcement in many areas. If you are interested in accessibility cases beyond the type I typically share on this website, for digital accessibility case reporting from a business lawyer perspective I rely on the ADA Title III News and Insights blog from Seyfarth Shaw.

I offer talks and trainings on the digital accessibility legal space and collaborative problem solving to advance digital accessibility. Interested? My speaking page is here

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