Aside from attempting to compliant for compliance’s sake, having an ADA accessible website can improve the overall user experience and site traffic. An ADA compliant site can increase your target audience (by making it easy for those with disabilities to navigate around), improve your SEO efforts (by helping search engines to more easily crawl your pages and content), and help your overall reputation.
Explain to the plaintiff that you’ve reviewed the grievance and talked with a lawyer. It may be best to explain the ADA guidelines, and that proposed laws are not currently laws, nor are there current penalties for violating these proposed laws. Knowing that you’ve gone to this trouble can sometimes scare away anyone attempting to file a lawsuit. It’s best to let your attorney contact the plaintiff when making statements.

Congress, by authorizing the certification of state and local accessibility requirements under Title III, recognized the important role that state and local building codes and standards may play in achieving compliance with the building-related aspects of accessibility. State and local building officials who are involved in plan approval and construction inspection processes may provide important assistance to construction and design professionals through their oversight of the accessibility requirements of a certified state code.


The lack of regulations here has led to the absolute worst-case scenario. People with disabilities have not been served since most companies are unaware this is an issue. Most don’t even realize this is something they have to consider until they receive a demand letter. That has certainly been the case for some of my clients. This leads to a scramble to get compliant. Unfortunately, it can take up to a year to do so depending on the complexity of the site. Meanwhile, plaintiffs’ attorneys across the country are taking advantage of the confusion. More than 260 website accessibility lawsuits were filed in 2016, and significantly more were filed by the end of 2017. But these numbers do not even begin to cover the cases that are settled pre-litigation.

Electric vehicles may be parked by a valet just as any other car. CBC Chapter 11B does not contain specific accessibility provisions for situations where the valet service provides EV charging in addition to parking service. Absent specific requirements, this situation would require the building official to determine the extent of applicable accessibility requirements on a case-by-case basis. DSA encourages designers to consult with jurisdictional building officials (primarily city- and county building departments) whenever there is a question of code interpretation or application
Throughout the certification review process, Department of Justice staff provide assistance and guidance to representatives of state and local governments that request certification of their accessibility requirements. Upon receipt of a complete certification submission, a team of experienced staff (architects, accessibility specialists and attorneys) undertake a detailed comparison of the submitted accessibility code to the Title III requirements for the design, construction, and alteration of buildings and facilities, including the ADA Standards for Accessible Design. The staff may contact submitting officials during this process to gain additional information about the correct interpretation and application of the submitted code.
DSA is not aware of any efforts to amend the California Green Code in this manner. While the California Green Code nonresidential mandatory measures require projects to identify an EV space, provide an electrical raceway to the service panel, and provide adequate capacity at the service panel for future EVCS; good design practice would be to incorporate appropriate ground surfaces and routes to facilitate the later installation of usable accessible EVCS. Plans and specifications must accurately describe the full extent of the work to be performed. Some enforcement jurisdictions (primarily city- and county building departments) may have additional requirements.
Resolution: Braulio Thorne called for a permanent injunction against Rolex Watch for them to take all steps necessary for making its website fully accessible to visually impaired users. The claimant also sought for compensatory, statutory and punitive damages for violations of New York State Human Rights Law and Civil Rights Law, court costs and attorneys’ fees, all with pre- and post-judgment interest. The parties reached an ADA settlement agreement and the case was voluntarily dismissed. 
However, in states that have enacted laws that allow private individuals to win monetary awards from non-compliant businesses (as of 2008, these include California, Florida, Hawaii, and Illinois), "professional plaintiffs" are typically found. At least one of these plaintiffs in California has been barred by courts from filing lawsuits unless he receives prior court permission.[55] Through the end of fiscal year 1998, 86% of the 106,988 ADA charges filed with and resolved by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, were either dropped or investigated and dismissed by EEOC but not without imposing opportunity costs and legal fees on employers.[50]
Prior to making a preliminary certification determination, the Department often provides written technical assistance to the submitting jurisdiction. In its technical assistance letter, the Department could point out provisions of the submitted code that raise concerns or questions about equivalency with the ADA, and may suggest possible changes or revisions to achieve compliance with the ADA. Once a preliminary determination is made that a submitted code meets or exceeds ADA requirements, the submitting jurisdiction is notified, members of the public, including persons with disabilities, are notified, and the public is provided an opportunity to comment. If the preliminary determination of equivalency is sustained, the Department will issue a certification of equivalency.
UPDATE: Since writing this post in August 2017, several important changes have taken place in the laws regarding ADA compliance for websites. On December 26, 2017, the Department of Justice announced that they have withdrawn the Obama-era Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking mentioned in this article which intended to require ADA website compliance. The DOJ’s withdrawal announcement stated, “The Department will continue to assess whether specific technical standards are necessary and appropriate to assist covered entities with complying with the ADA.”
Enforcement of the ADA, is typically left to private individuals and by necessity their attorneys.  When an individual with a disability encounters a condition that inhibits their access or use of a building or facility in 49 states other than California, they are able to file suit and obtain correction of the condition.  If an individual with a disability encounters the same condition in California, they are immediately eligible for $4,000 in statutory damages under California’s Civil Code Section 52, which makes any violation of the ADA (no matter how small) a violation of an individual’s civil rights.  This has unfortunately created a significant cottage industry in California, where attorneys (operating under the umbrella of “facilitating access for the disabled”) will go after businesses with ADA violations, to simply pocket the $4,000 in statutory damages with an additional couple of thousand for attorney’s fees.
Decided by the US Supreme Court in 2002, this case [74][75] held that even requests for accommodation that might seem reasonable on their face, e.g., a transfer to a different position, can be rendered unreasonable because it would require a violation of the company's seniority system. While the court held that, in general, a violation of a seniority system renders an otherwise reasonable accommodation unreasonable, a plaintiff can present evidence that, despite the seniority system, the accommodation is reasonable in the specific case at hand, e.g., the plaintiff could offer evidence that the seniority system is so often disregarded that another exception wouldn't make a difference.
Hotels, motels, inns, dormitories, resorts, and similar places of transient lodging shall provide access for persons with disabilities in accordance with the provisions of the accessibility requirements of this California Building Code. Accessible guest rooms or suites shall be dispersed among the various classes of sleeping accommodations to provide a range of options applicable to room sizes, costs, amenities provided, and the number of beds provided.
Tags: 2.0, 2019, AB 434, accessibility, Assembly Bill, blind, California, deaf, Department of Justice, Director of Technology, Government Code, Government Entity, Governor, hard of hearing, Inactive List, Jerry Brown, July 1, legislation, Rehabilitation Act, Section 11546.7, Section 508, Section 7405, State Agency, State Entity, Visually Impaired, WCAG, WCAG 2.0 AA, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, website
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Path of travel is a term exclusively used in CBC Chapter 11B within the context of alterations to existing sites (see Section 11B-202.4, including Exception 10). For EVCS projects it only applies where EVCS are installed at existing facilities where vehicle fueling, recharging, parking or storage is a primary function. These types of facilities include gas stations, stand-alone parking lots and stand-alone parking structures (see Section 11B-202.4 Exception 10). When an accessible path of travel is required, an accessible path of travel to the specific area of alteration shall be provided; this path of travel, by definition in Chapter 2 of the CBC, includes a primary entrance to the building or facility, toilet and bathing facilities serving the area of alteration, drinking fountains serving the area of alteration, public telephones serving the area of alteration, and signs as well as accessible routes which connect the area of alteration with site arrival points such as sidewalks, streets, and accessible parking (see CBC Section 11B-202.4). These listed elements – primary entrance, toilet and bathing facilities, drinking fountains, public telephones, signs and site arrival points as well as accessible routes connecting all of them – are sometimes called “path of travel elements.” These elements are required to comply with the current code requirements or be brought into compliance when an alteration occurs. Compliance is required to the maximum extent feasible without exceeding 20 percent of the cost of the work directly associated with the installation of EVCS (see Section 11B-202.4 Exception 10).

The presentation linked below is intended to provide an overview of the requirements to plan for and provide accessibility to electric vehicle charging stations in California. The full scoping and technical requirements of the California Building Code regulations for electric vehicle charging stations should be reviewed and applied in the design and construction of electric vehicle charging stations. The full text of the California Building Code regulations can be viewed at Building Standards Commission (Part 2, Volume 1). The building code amendments include provisions in Chapter 2 (Definitions) and Chapter 11B (Accessibility to Public Buildings, Public Accommodations, Commercial Buildings and Public Housing).
When a property owner hits the 20% cost limitation on path of travel improvements, the jurisdictional entity cannot require further improvements to the path of travel to occur. The property owner should be advised, however, that for older facilities that pre-date the ADA, barrier removal is required by the ADA. Barrier removal, however, will not be enforced by the local jurisdictional entity.
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