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ada title lawsuits in federal court: 2013 – 2018 10163 7663 6601 4436 2722 63% increase over 2013 4789 8% increase over 2014 37% increase over 2015 16% increase over 2016 33% increase over 2017 graPh: ADA Title III Lawsuits in Federal Court: 3013-2018: 2722; 2014: 4436, 63% increase over 2013; 2015: 4789, 8% increase over 2014; 2016: 6601, 37% increase over 2015; 2017: 7663, 16% increase over 2016; 2018: 10163, 33% increase over 2017 E ven if you’re neither located in the u.S. nor an applicable jurisdiction, making your website accessible is important as a matter of moral principle. our websites should be as accessible to those with disabilities as our businesses. Websites that are not compliant not only shut out those with disabilities, but may also be subject to lawsuits, depending on local laws and rulings. Some of these lawsuits have cost companies millions of dollars in settlement, and aDa (americans with Disabilities act) lawsuits pertaining to websites are up nearly 400 percent in the last few years, according to Seyfarth Shaw LLP. While this can be a boon to the visually impaired, it has become an especially big boon to an army of lawyers who are filing lawsuits as fast as they can against companies whose websites are not compliant. Settlements have in some cases exceeded $6,000,000. many speculate that the attorneys who are ‘specializing’ in aDa compliance viola- tions are doing more to gain a quick and lucrative settlement than to protect the handicapped. So, what does website accessibility mean? it consists of a number of categories including color contrast, keyboard navigation, page reader compatibility, alt tags on graphic images and more. more detail on accessibility requirements can be found at the WcaG 2.1 website (https://www.w3.org/ Tr/WcaG21/) which outlines three levels of accessibility. a, aa and aaa. according to the california restaurant association, aa is currently considered “accessible” by the u.S. Department of Justice. Some corrections can be made relatively easily, such as color contrast if you’re using cSS on your website. in many cases, a simple change can make a global effect on your website. other changes will need to be made manually. it is important that the website is tested both before and after the changes are made to determine the level of compliance. one spa in california was served a lawsuit in early 2018 citing violation of the civil rights of a visually impaired individual. upon being served, they called several vendors who they thought could shed light on the situation—their website host (GoDaddy), their lawyer and their legislator, to “...it has become an especially big boon to an army of lawyers who are filing lawsuits as fast as they can against companies whose websites are not compliant.” MAY ■ PULSE 2019 39