Federal Court Rules: Having an Inaccessible Website Violates Title III of the ADA

Business owners and IT managers across the USA, let this be a warning!  Your website MUST be made accessible to persons with disabilities.  How do you know if you need to fix your website?  Well, if you didn’t build your website with accessibility in mind, you need to fix it, and you need to do it now.

Website owners have a new Nemesis to contend with.  Its called the “Disability Advocate”.  Sometimes they work for law firms, sometimes they are lone opportunists, and every-so-often there is the actual personally affected person with a disability.  Whichever it is, if you get a letter informing you that your site is inaccessible AND demanding a settlement, you’re going to have to settle.  It’s just that simple.

Last week a Florida federal District Court Judge, Robert Scola handed down a verdict in the first trial in the history of the ADA regarding an allegedly inaccessible website.  The judge issued a 13-page Verdict and Order which found that grocery store chain Winn-Dixie violated Title III of the ADA by having a website that was unusable by the plaintiff Juan Carlos Gil.  Gill wanted to download coupons, order prescriptions in private, and find store locations.  Since the plaintiff is blind he uses screen reading software to access websites.  The judge awarded Mr. Gil his attorneys’ fees and costs, and ordered Winn-Dixie to fix their website so that persons with disabilities have equal access to the services and benefits it offers.

Fortunately there is a way to avoid the risk of having an inaccessible website. Contact us today, and we’ll show you how.

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