Small business owners are dealing with a higher number of lawsuits related to disability access these days.
Federal legislation requires certain accessibility standards be met by all businesses, including curb ramps, self-opening doors and other accommodations. Soon, the list could even grow to include requirements online, such as video and audio captions and transcriptions for disabled users.
Over the past year, the number of disabled-access lawsuits has been on the rise, according to the law firm Seyfarth Shaw LLP. Since June, plaintiffs have filed 1,939 lawsuits under a section of the federal disability law setting out accessibility requirements for businesses and other public places – that’s a 55% increase from the previous year the. In many of these cases, the plaintiffs are customers or consumer advocates seeking additions to a store, like a wheelchair ramp or handrail.
Disabled-access lawsuits aren’t reserved for brick-and-mortar businesses, however. A separate report from The Wall Street Journal highlighted the trend of e-commerce and mobile application lawsuits. These claims are starting to be brought against business owners whose websites don’t have captions and transcriptions of multimedia content.
What are you doing to make your business accessible to all your customers?