There are a few reasons why ADA web accessibility has become such a hot legal topic in just the last few years.
One element is that commerce has shifted dramatically to the digital sphere. eCommerce boomed, rising from a total market value of $449 billion in 2017 to $517 billion in 2018. Online retail purchases now represent almost 15% of all retail spending, and the numbers are still going up.
What’s more, many of our regular activities have transferred to the internet, like ordering a cab, booking a doctor’s appointment, or checking on bus times. As web interactions become fundamental to our daily lives, web accessibility has become more important.
The last few years also saw a spread in awareness about web accessibility. High profile lawsuits and the increasing knowledge about ADA title III means that people with disabilities now know that they have legal recourse when they can’t complete activities online. Millennials and Generation Z are also a lot less likely to stay quiet in the face of discrimination and inaccessibility.
At the moment, the legal environment in the US makes it very advantageous for someone with disabilities to sue businesses under ADA Title III. Unlike many other areas of the law, ADA makes it clear that the defendant automatically has to pay the plaintiff’s legal fees, so a disabled user has nothing to lose by filing a lawsuit.
The vast majority of ADA Title III lawsuits find in favor of the plaintiff. Through a series of findings, settlement agreements, and an official letter to lawmakers, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has made it clear that ADA compliance includes web accessibility.