Young & Associates, Inc. has been receiving inquiries from clients and prospects regarding demand letters from plaintiffs’ law firms, alleging the bank is violating Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The violation the letters cite is that the bank’s website is not sufficiently accessible to individuals with disabilities.
If your bank has received such a letter, don’t ignore it. If your bank has not received one, prepare to receive one. The bank’s website should be reviewed for ADA compliance and the bank’s legal counsel should be made aware of these letters.
Young & Associates can assist banks with the following to assess and to work towards their compliance with ADA website accessibility requirements:
- ADA Compliance Audit: Using Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 and Section 508 Standards for federal agencies, we will audit the bank’s website for ADA compliance.
- ADA Compliance Follow-up Audit: If your bank hires a company to update your website, we can conduct an independent follow-up audit of your website to assess whether the company did what it said it would do.
- Vetting of Software and Online Tools: We can investigate, research, and assess any online tool or software the bank might use to test the website. Our research suggests that some of these tools might be linked to law firms that issue these demand letters, and your results may be forwarded to them so they may send you a demand letter.
- Website Support/Assistance: We can work with your internal professional managing the website or your website vendor as an advisor on any changes.
You may be wondering, “How did we miss this? What notice did we not read?”
There was no notice. As of this date, there are no published ADA web accessibility regulations for services providers. The Department of Justice (DOJ) plans to release them no sooner than 2018. However, plaintiffs’ law firms have still found ways to apply current law for successful litigation, with one case resulting in seven-figure settlement plus court fees. And more litigation will follow.
For more information on ADA Website Accessibility Compliance or how Young & Associates, Inc. can assist your bank in this area, please contact Mike Lehr, Human Resources Consultant at 1.330.777.0094 or click the link on the right side of this page.