Website ADA Lawsuit Case Statistics for 2018
Website Related ADA Lawsuits Up 181% in 2018
The numbers are coming in and its no surprise to find that 2018 saw a huge increase in website-related ADA cases. Web Accessiblity lawsuits continue to grow exponentially, and the trend promises to continue in 2019.
According to a recent report by UsableNet, 2018 saw a 181% increase in Federal lawsuits over 2017. Here, its important to note that this report only reflects Federal cases, and does not include state cases or demand letters - which have been most prolific.
Top 5 States for Web Related ADA Federal Lawsuits
While businesses across the country are getting hit with website related ADA lawsuits, New York and Florida are the major hotspots. According to UsableNet's report, 64% of Federal Lawsuits were filed in NY and 32% in Florida in 2018.
Top 5 Industries Affected by Web Related ADA Lawsuits in 2018
Will Website ADA Lawsuits Ease in 2019?
Rhetorical? Unfortunately. No, we can't expect the DOJ to issue clearer rules and eliminate the grey areas that invite litigation. And we cannot expect this Congress to pass laws to reduce surf-by suits by trolling law firms.
This has become a cottage industry that is only getting started.
The only way to avoid legal issues and meet the intent of the ADA is to make sure your website is accessible to people with disabilities. In doing so, not only will you increase the market for your goods or services, but you'll also increase the organic rank for your web pages. Good accessibility translates to good SEO, and better usability for all visitors.
The process for making your website ADA compliant starts with finding a trustworthy and experienced partner (such as us - see our ADA consulting services) to work with your team in establishing a roadmap toward accessibility.
That roadmap will begin with questioning whether its better to build a new ADA compliant website from scratch, or to audit and remediate your existing website. If your website is more than 3 years old, it may be better to wipe the slate clean and rebuild. If your website is still fresh, then you will start with an audit to first idendentify all ADA violations according to the Web Content Accessibility Guideline (WCAG 2.1 A, AA), which serves as the de facto standard. Its important to be aware that automated auditing tools can only identify ~26% of WCAG issues. This is because the WCAG is nuanced and interpretive. Be sure to audit using manual and assistive technology methods.
Once the audit is complete, remediation can begin. Remediation will likely include your design, development, and content teams.
Once those lessons are learned and documented, and all website team members are trained, you will then want to conduct periodic audits.
You can find more website ADA and web accessibility resources and news at our blog, accessibility.works.