Unfortunately, we have first hand knowledge on this subject. Last fall, here in southern California, there were several news stories about small retail or service companies being sued by those vigilant on behalf of the blind. Now it’s worked its way to associations and charities. There are law offices specializing in bringing these suits and they are more and more active. Seemingly, there is no recourse but to pay some negotiated value of the suit.

Now, any website and app must provide the blind with effective communication and full and equal enjoyment of your information. To be clear, the U.S. Department of Justice has not issued specific guidelines indicating how a website and app could or should be made accessible to blind viewers. But that will be of no comfort to you if one of these suits comes your way. No, there is no warning giving you a chance to apply software, something all of us would do knowing the financial downside if we don’t.

Thus, this post. Fair warning: If you host or manage a website for your group(s), have your web developer attend to this immediately. There is a long checklist review of functionality from type having to replace any graphics (that then become audible for the blind) to removing underlined copy that is not a link and replacing it with italics. One checklist source is https://www.ada.gov/pcatoolkit/chap5chklist.htm

As a management firm, we oversee many websites and have applied software to all our clients’ URLs, but not before being required to pay many thousands of dollars from a suit.  We absolutely support the need for those with disabilities to be part of our productive and communicative society.  And, I know you do, too!

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