I’m going to start this post in a way that most of you may find surprising. I want to thank Kylie Jenner. You see, for over a year now I have been telling clients, other lawyers, and family members (who politely nod because they still don’t quite understand what I do for a living) that companies need to make sure their websites are ADA compliant. This usually leads to a crass conversation about how a website can even be ADA compliant. But recently, I received a text message from a friend with a link to a JustJared.com piece entitled, “Kylie Jenner’s Cosmetics Website Sued for Not Being Accessible to Blind Customers.” My friend’s text said, “This what you have been talking about!” The exclamation mark made my day. Yes, this is what I have been talking about! And while most of you have likely never heard of Just Jared, it is high time we talk about ADA website compliance and website accessibility.
It should be understood that the initial response from the Department of Justice is preliminary. The process for ADA certification will undoubtedly take time; include public participation meetings, interaction with the United States Department of Justice, and rulemaking for building standards. It should therefore be assumed that the side-by-side analysis, including comment from the Department of Justice, is subject to revision. These documents are preliminary, are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be considered as final determinations by the United States Department of Justice and/or the Division of the State Architect.
With this legislation, California joins state and municipal entities in other parts of the country that have similar web accessibility requirements for governmental entities and contractors.  This legislation fills a small part of a void the federal Department of Justice has decided for the time being not to fill, when it put its pending regulations that would set an accessibility standard for state and local (as well as private entity) websites on the inactive list.
This particular lawsuit amounted to nothing more than a shakedown for cash, as the current laws would make it difficult to win the suit in court (more about this later) but it prompted me to dive deeper into the issue of ADA compliance. Through my research, I discovered there are some new laws on the horizon that could make ADA compliance mandatory, which means web designers and digital marketers need to know how to prepare.

In most cases such as you describe, however, you can easily widen a doorway enough to allow a wheelchair to pass with one or a couple of minor and very inexpensive techniques, starting with installing offset hinges (like they use on hospital room doors). These allow the door to swing open more widely than normal, since it is no longer opening within the cased door opening but outside it.


The debate over the Americans with Disabilities Act led some religious groups to take opposite positions.[32] The Association of Christian Schools International, opposed the ADA in its original form.[33] primarily because the ADA labeled religious institutions "public accommodations", and thus would have required churches to make costly structural changes to ensure access for all.[34] The cost argument advanced by ACSI and others prevailed in keeping religious institutions from being labeled as "public accommodations".[24]


The California Building Standards Code says that you must get a final determination from the local building official that your project has an unreasonable hardship. This is rarely granted for new construction. Existing buildings undergoing alteration are sometimes allowed to depart from the literal requirements of the building code only when equivalent facilitation is provided.
In short, the ADA currently offers compliance suggestions for sites, but there aren’t currently any standards that you are obligated to follow. The proposed law would make sure that websites follow WCAG 2.0 guidelines, which were designed and set up by the World Wide Web Consortium, an international group aimed at creating global website standards.

Complaints that a program, service, or activity of CDI is not accessible to persons with disabilities should be directed to ADA Coordinator at 916-492-3388 or by e-mail at [email protected]  CDI will not place a surcharge on individuals requesting auxiliary aids/services or reasonable modifications of policy that is not also extended to persons without disabilities.
Hello, we are thinking of leasing the second floor of a renovated Victorian home for our business. The business is an office where we service insurance claims but the nature of the business is such that we would not have business invitees (such as insureds and claimants). The building has an exterior stairway to access the level we are going to lease. There is no elevator and one is not contemplated. For our use, it is fine but does it have to have an elevator just for the sake of use as a business, despite the lack of being for actual “public” use? Thank you!
Privately owned multi-family dwellings are not subject to the new CBC Chapter 11B accessibility requirements for EVCS. The new requirements do apply at public housing facilities which are defined below. CBC Chapter 11B accessibility requirements do not apply to Section 8 housing credit recipients – the Section 8 program is a housing voucher program, not a public housing program.

EVCS required to be accessible by CBC Chapter 11B must have both, an accessible route to the facility entrance (see CBC Section 11B-812.5.1) and an accessible route from the vehicle space to the EVSE (see CBC Section 11B-812.5.2). No exceptions are provided but you can use existing accessible routes to help satisfy these requirements. These requirements are separate from, and are not limited by the 20% cost cap on path of travel improvements.


I live in Leisure World Seal Beach that has an H.O.A. My question, I’m presently remodeling my apt. that Golden Rain Foundation owns but is mine as a share holder. ( I can sell it & ask any price I would like to sell it for) I would like to put in a exit door in my bedroom with a walkway connected to my entry walkway to the sidewalk. There are other units in my mutual that have the same, however, they are in a different area. Can my mutual prevent me from putting me exit door in my bedroom? Thank You Ed Kessler

Lack of basic accessibility features. The majority of cases are caused by this factor. The lack of basic, easy-to-implement web accessibility features may show indifference to needs of users with disabilities and their user experience browsing your site, which in most cases leads to a filed complaint. Basic accessibility features may include providing alt text on graphics, providing labels on form controls (e.g. text boxes, checkboxes, radio buttons), avoiding improper table markup which can lead to accessibility issues, providing alt text on images, etc.
Is there anyone who can help from the ADA? It does not make sense to me that just because we are on private property that the policy will not ticket these violators. Is there anything the ADA can do to help my HOA realize that we are asking for the most basic of safety and access rights in our community by providing at the minimum a safe and clear path to walk on instead of being forced to walk in a weaving pattern being forced into the street and around cars parked across sidewalks?
In 2017, plaintiffs filed at least 814 federal lawsuits about allegedly inaccessible websites, including a number of putative class actions. We arrived at this number by searching for lawsuits with certain key terms and then manually reviewing the results to remove any cases that did not concern an allegedly inaccessible website.  Our numbers are conservative, as it is very likely that not every website accessibility lawsuit’s description – upon which we based our search – contained our search terms. This caveat applies to all of the data set forth below.
EVCS required to be accessible by CBC Chapter 11B must have both, an accessible route to the facility entrance (see CBC Section 11B-812.5.1) and an accessible route from the vehicle space to the EVSE (see CBC Section 11B-812.5.2). No exceptions are provided but you can use existing accessible routes to help satisfy these requirements. These requirements are separate from, and are not limited by the 20% cost cap on path of travel improvements.
In June of 2003, the DOJ issued a document appropriately entitled, “Accessibility of State and Local Government Websites to People with Disabilities.” References were made to Section 508 accessibility Standards and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). By 2010, the DOJ issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR), entitled “Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability; Accessibility of Web Information and Services of State and Local Government Entities and Public Accommodations.” That document provides that, “Title III reaches the Web sites of entities that provide goods or services that fall within the 12 categories of ‘public accommodations’ as defined by the statute and regulations.” It also sought input on whether the DOJ should adopt “the WCAG 2.0’s Level AA Success Criteria as its standard for Web site accessibility for entities covered by Titles II and III of the ADA.”
Your website looks good, is functional and provides a great user experience. But, can a disabled person use it? Can a visually-impaired person understand what your photos and other non-text aspects of your website are and do? If not, you may need to make some changes or you may receive a letter from lawyers threatening Americans with Disability Act, or ADA, claims.
Accessibility requirements for all point-of-sale devices have been a part of the CBC for many years and allow people with vision impairments to conduct automated transactions in a secure manner. These requirements apply to point-of-sale devices in public buildings, public accommodations commercial buildings and public housing, including restaurants, stores, banks, theaters and DVD rental kiosks – just about anywhere the public conducts automated transactions.

Quite a few complaints are based on the fact that many online services can be treated as “public accommodations”, and the ADA protects the rights of physically impaired to receive such services at the same level and quality as everyone else. That’s why entities that provide extra services on their websites that are not available through channels other than online resources will most likely be facing legal claims. That is if their website does not conform to WCAG 2.1 (or to Section 508 for state and government agencies) and has issues that limit impaired people’s capabilities to have full access to the site.
CVS is one of the largest convenience/pharmacy stores in the United States (hence the industry titled with medicine). In 2017, Kyla Reed, brought a case against CVS to curt after claiming that blind individuals are not able to access key features of the website that are directly integrated with its physical location. For example, if a blind person is unable to order prescriptions online, that is in direct violation with the ADA.
In my investigation I found out there are several ADA designated apt’s, on my floor there is only one and it has an industry standard of 36″ and out of the other nine apt’s four have misplaced ADA compliant countertops. I know of two elderly women who are confined to wheelchairs and living in designated ADA apt’s and their countertops are not ADA compliant they complain to no avail.
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Shortly before the act was passed, disability rights activists with physical disabilities coalesced in front of the Capitol Building, shed their crutches, wheelchairs, powerchairs and other assistive devices, and immediately proceeded to crawl and pull their bodies up all 100 of the Capitol's front steps, without warning.[38] As the activists did so, many of them chanted "ADA now", and "Vote, Now". Some activists who remained at the bottom of the steps held signs and yelled words of encouragement at the "Capitol Crawlers". Jennifer Keelan, a second grader with cerebral palsy, was videotaped as she pulled herself up the steps, using mostly her hands and arms, saying "I'll take all night if I have to." This direct action is reported to have "inconvenienced" several senators and to have pushed them to approve the act. While there are those who do not attribute much overall importance to this action, the "Capitol Crawl" of 1990 is seen by some present-day disability activists in the United States as a central act for encouraging the ADA into law.[39]
Complaints that a program, service, or activity of CDI is not accessible to persons with disabilities should be directed to ADA Coordinator at 916-492-3388 or by e-mail at [email protected]  CDI will not place a surcharge on individuals requesting auxiliary aids/services or reasonable modifications of policy that is not also extended to persons without disabilities.

Inherently inaccessible websites and apps. Such complaints as the cases against NBA and Winn Dixie, and similar cases (read on for details) suggest that websites and apps that use inherently inaccessible technologies are most likely to attract litigation. It’s understandable as such websites oftentimes completely block physically impaired individuals from accessing certain parts or even the whole website.
We have some accessibility issues with the sidewalks and telephone poles that are in the center of the walks. This does not allow for a wheelchair to travel on the sidewalk. Also, the walks have huge cracks so there are different levels in the walk. In addition, at one point wheel chairs must circumvent blockage by traveling into the street which has a 45 mph speed limit. Is there a source to let the city know they need to do corrections? Is this an ADA non-compliance issue?
CBC Chapter 11B accessibility provisions for EVCS apply when a project consists of one or more electric vehicle charging spaces served by an electric vehicle charger or other charging equipment. Where the project does not provide charging equipment the code does not require the provision of accessible routes or other vehicle space accessibility requirements. However, it is good practice to notify the owner or owner’s representative of any additional code requirements that will be triggered by the later installation of charging equipment. The owner can use this information to determine the sequence and extent of work to be included in each phase of the project.
The good news for potential defendants is that the only remedies available in private ADA suits are injunctions that force you to come into compliance and attorneys’ fees. If the Department of Justice gets involved, they can seek civil fines and penalties. Hence, you need to do the risk/benefit analysis as to whether it is worth challenging the claim or not. This report says the lawsuits are on the rise.
I have been living in a rented apartment in Alameda County, California since 1989. My husband and my 91-year old mother live with me, and they are both disabled. On July 20, our landlady served us with a 60-day Termination of Tenancy notice as of August 1, 2013. She is renovating all the units in the apartment building and cannot renovate our unit while it is occupied, so we have to vacate by October 1st. Given that my husband and my mother are disabled, that limits the choices of accessible housing from which to choose, therefore it may take us longer than 60 days to find suitable housing that meets their needs. Is there a provision in the ADA which requires the property owner to extend the time we require to find alternate housing, due the the special needs of my husband and my mother?

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Mention ADA compliance to many web developers and you may encounter a blank stare. First, find an agency working with the web platform or framework you use and ask about how their development workflow addresses accessibility. Most platforms have a partner directory. From there, you can start vetting agencies for their actual experience with web accessibility.

Accessibility is required to all covered multifamily dwellings on the lowest floor in buildings without elevators. Certain exceptions apply to multistory units, or smaller buildings such as single or duplex units. In covered multifamily dwellings in buildings with elevators, all units are required to be located on an accessible route. Within the units, the requirements are for accessibility are allowed to be for adaptable dwelling units.

It would be prudent for a designer to take into consideration the space requirements necessary for accessible EVCS based on the total projected number of EVCS planned for the site, in addition to future accessible route requirements, so that the future installation of EVCS can be accommodated, but accessibility provisions are not required unless electric vehicle charging equipment is installed.

The attorneys' fees provision of Title III does provide incentive for lawyers to specialize and engage in serial ADA litigation, but a disabled plaintiff does not obtain financial reward from attorneys' fees unless they act as their own attorney, or as mentioned above, a disabled plaintiff resides in a state that provides for minimum compensation and court fees in lawsuits. Moreover, there may be a benefit to these "private attorneys general" who identify and compel the correction of illegal conditions: they may increase the number of public accommodations accessible to persons with disabilities. "Civil rights law depends heavily on private enforcement. Moreover, the inclusion of penalties and damages is the driving force that facilitates voluntary compliance with the ADA."[56] Courts have noted:


Part of Title I was found unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court as it pertains to states in the case of Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama v. Garrett as violating the sovereign immunity rights of the several states as specified by the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Court determined that state employees cannot sue their employer for violating ADA rules. State employees can, however, file complaints at the Department of Justice or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, who can sue on their behalf.[19]
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