Proxi Channel Blog
Seyfarth Synopsis: We predict 2021 will be a very busy year for ADA Title III lawsuits. Here is our take on the types of cases public accommodations can expect to face.
2020 was, by all accounts, an unusual year. The year began with some prolific plaintiffs’ attorneys turning their attention from website accessibility lawsuits to lawsuits claiming that the ADA requires gift cards containing Braille. That gambit has not worked out well for these plaintiffs’ lawyers at the district court level, and the issue is now on appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Privacy Compliance for Websites and Businesses – January 27th, 10:00 am – 11:00 am PST | Greenberg Glusker LLP – JDSupra
ADA, CCPA, CPRA – all acronyms important for you to know when managing your business and website. Join us for a complimentary MCLE presentation where we will cover important legal issues to be compliant with:
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
The California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA)
This program has been approved for 1 hour of general California MCLE credit.
The United States Supreme Court allows people called “Testers” to pose as a customer, purchaser, or renter, and file a lawsuit against the entities if their website is not accessible to blind and visually impaired people. The Tester never has to have the intent to actually visit the property, or rent or purchase a dwelling advertised on the website, for a claim to arise under the Americans With Disability Act (“ADA”), or, potentially, the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”).
“We don’t want to exclude anyone,” Byungho Kim, of Samsung’s social contribution center in Suwon, said in a video during Samsung’s Wednesday event. “Our technology is for everyone.” Samsung’s TV lineup is about to become a lot more accessible for people with low vision or hearing issues. The company on Wednesday said all of its 2020 QLED and Neo QLED models will come with features like being able to move captions to avoid blocking other text on a video and the ability zoom in on a sign language window to see it better.
There is a growing rise in lawsuits against business websites, including law firms, for not complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). One-quarter of the adult American population live with a disability. While the ADA was created to eliminate any physical barriers to public spaces, website accessibility promotes equal accommodation in virtual spaces.
Considering that 19 percent of undergraduate students live with a disability, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, you’d think institutions of higher learning would simply assume 1 in 5 students may need some sort of accommodation and plan accordingly during course development. But I guess it’s unreasonable to expect universities to be smart in their approach to remote learning. And considering only an estimated 4 percent of college instructors are disabled, “out of sight, out of mind” seems to be the modus operandi.
Did you know that 61 million adult Americans deal with a form of disability? That’s 26 percent of the total population. The pressure on e-commerce businesses to make their websites more accessible isn’t only a moral argument. It’s now a legal one. In fact, as of 2019, there were 2,256 ADA Title III lawsuits, which was preceded by a 177 percent jump in the number of federal cases between 2017 and 2018.
A disabled Florida woman paid a virtual visit to Maine and left a trail of lawsuits in her wake. Six to be exact. Deborah Laufer is described in the federal lawsuits as a “tester”… All told, she has filed about 500 lawsuits in 15 different states, said Robert Thorpe, an attorney in Syracuse, New York, whose law firm, Barclay Damon LLP, is defending several hotels and motels against Laufer lawsuits in both New York and Massachusetts.
Proposed Bipartisan Legislation Introduced to Address Website Accessibility Lawsuits (Bottom line: Clarification, not exemption)
Representatives Lou Correa (D-CA) and Ted Budd (R-NC) introduced a bipartisan bill titled the Online Accessibility Act, intended to curb predatory website accessibility lawsuits that accuse consumer-facing websites of violating Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).
The Online Accessibility Act would take websites and mobile applications outside of Title III of the ADA—which was meant to address accessibility to services provided by physical businesses—and create a new ADA Title VI dedicated specifically to consumer facing websites and mobile applications.
State government is increasing employment for people with disabilities and is encouraging the private sector to do the same.
Gov. Roy Cooper on Thursday signed an executive order that declares North Carolina to be an “employment first” state, meaning that people with disabilities who can work should be able to do that and that the state should do what it can to help. Several states around the country are taking same steps.
A New York woman sued megastar Beyoncé Knowles‘ management company Parkwood Entertainment LLC on Thursday after claiming the singer’s website discriminates against folks who are blind.
Mary Conner filed a class-action lawsuit at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Jan. 3, the Hollywood Reporterr reported on the day the suit was filed. The suit claims that Beyoncé’s website www.Beyoncé.com, violates the Americans with Disabilities Act because it doesn’t allow blind fans to get tour updates, purchase merchandise and doesn’t permit fans to buy tickets.
The numbers are striking and consistent: Online learning providers are seeing a boom in enrollment as parents seek an alternative to chaotic remote school experiences this spring. Florida Virtual School’s enrollment is up 54 percent year over year for its individual online course offerings and 64 percent for full-time programs. Public schools’ online programs managed by the for-profit provider K12 Inc. have grown from 122,000 enrollments in fall 2019 to 170,000 a year later. Applications to Connections Academy, a virtual school provider owned by Pearson, are up 61 percent.