The Americans With Disabilities Act provides protection that guarantees disabled individuals in California and throughout the country equal access to public spaces. As more activities take place online, these protections are being extended into the digital environment.
ADA compliance is the accepted standard for all governments in the country when enforcing regulations regarding accessibility for the disabled. The penalties for non-compliance can become substantial.
The first level of consequences for businesses and organizations that do not comply with ADA requirements is the issuing of fines. These fines can be as much as $75,000 for a first violation and twice that amount for each additional violation. These fines represent a major hit for small businesses and municipalities and take away from the use of funds in a more productive manner.
More web accessibility lawsuits filings have happened as a result of many governments providing services online. Nearly 150 lawsuits have been filed against local governments across the country due to a lack of accessibility for disabled persons to websites. These lawsuits can cause a municipality or business entity to shell out much more money than is paid in fines.
There is more than just financial risk involved when a business or government organization fails to honor ADA compliance guidelines. Public sentiment may turn away from any organization that develops a reputation for making products, services and information available to some citizens but not others. It is the expectation of many citizens living in a democratic society, that government and business offerings be available to all.
Discrimination of any kind is a devastating life experience for the individual who is the target of discrimination. Individuals who suffer a violation of the rights afforded to them through ADA regulations may find it helpful to speak with an attorney experienced in ADA accessibility law.