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ADA Accessibility for Websites from Coast-to-Coast

Ninth Circuit Requires 'Compliance' Despite Lack of Clear Standard; Southern District of New York Finds Post-Complaint Remediation Sufficient to Moot ADA Violation Claim

Authors: Jeffrey M. Goldman and Victoria D. Summerfield

Summer 2019
ADA Accessibility for Websites from Coast-to-Coast

This article was published in the Summer 2019 issue of Association of Business Trial Lawyers (Volume XXI, No. 2).

ABSTRACT
Any company doing business on the West Coast must be aware of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and how it applies to their website. In the absence of any official guidance from the DOJ regarding what type of private website formatting or accommodations must be provided to users in order to comply with the ADA, courts across the country have largely adopted, by consensus, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0–a private industry standard widely adopted by federal agencies.

The Ninth Circuit has concluded that the ADA put places of public accommodation on “fair notice” of their obligation to provide accessible websites and apps, at least when these websites and apps are used in conjunction with a physical location, in spite of the lack of a specific ADA standard for websites. Robles v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC, No. 17-55504 (9th Cir. Jan. 15, 2019). A recent case from the Southern District of New York suggests that business owners may successfully challenge the ADA claim as moot by submitting an affidavit confirming that the deficiencies described in the complaint were corrected and the website is presently compliant with WCAG 2.0. Diaz v. The Kroger Co., No. 18 Civ. 7953 (KPF) (S.D.N.Y. June 4, 2019).

The full article is available at http://www.abtl.org/report/oc/abtlocvol21no2.pdf.

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