Generally speaking, companies that have a website or other online properties must make them accessible to those with disabilities. Failing to do so could put them in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA. According to Title III of the ADA, it is illegal for covered groups to discriminate against disabled individuals in public places. The internet is often thought to be an area that is available to the public.
Furthermore, most businesses that sell goods or offer services are considered to be places of public accommodation. There has been little guidance from the courts of the Department of Justice as to what a website needs to have to be considered accessible to someone who is disabled. However, federal websites must meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, or WCAG 2.0, issued by the World Wide Web Consortium.
Therefore, it would seem that meeting WCAG 2.0 guidelines is a good place for a company to start. The Consortium says that websites should remove any barriers that would prohibit someone from fully using a website. A company could allow a site visitor to increase font size or configure the site to be used by a text reader. It may also be possible to be WCAG 2.0 compliant by disabling features that could cause seizures or that can’t be navigated with a keyboard.
Businesses that are not in compliance with ADA regulations may face significant civil penalties. A legal professional may be able to provide guidance for companies that are looking to avoid lawsuits or otherwise take steps to offer a better customer experience. Counsel may also be able to help companies resolve ADA complaints outside of court. This might make it possible to keep such a website accessibility lawsuit out of the public eye.