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Steps for maintaining ADA compliance on hotel websites

On Behalf of | May 11, 2020 | ADA |

Most hotel operators throughout California strive to meet their legal obligations to guests with disabilities. Such efforts require the establishment of rooms that are usable and safe for people with mobility, hearing or vision limitations. However, hotels have standards to maintain on their websites as well. Their commercial websites function as digital properties that need to comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines so that disabled people may interact with web content and book rooms that accommodate their needs.

Hotel websites need to have the technical infrastructure to interface with the assistive technologies that disabled people use to access online content. Up-to-date website coding includes functions like tab scrolling, labels on buttons and forms, and image alt tag descriptions. Hotels may hire services to evaluate their websites and correct shortcomings related to accessibility. Ongoing evaluations and updates provide hotel operators with a written record of an active compliance program.

Beyond ensuring that disabled people may access the content, the website needs to include clear information about the rooms available for disabled people. Dedicating a whole page to this issue would be appropriate. The online booking system for a hotel needs to give guests the ability to directly select the rooms with the accommodations that they need.

Shortcomings with compliance or guest dissatisfaction can result in ADA hotel lawsuits. When a legal action related to disability access confronts a hotel operator, an attorney knowledgeable about disability litigation may evaluate the strength of the claim against the hotel. An attorney might defend the hotel’s position by presenting evidence that the business was in compliance. In that case, an attorney may succeed in winning a summary judgment in favor of the hotel. Other cases might require the negotiation of a settlement along with legal advice that guides the business toward full compliance.