We have continued to see a major growth of web accessibility lawsuits across the US in recent years, which is why businesses are looking at means of preventing these and ensuring they are following the set guidelines. One method has been through a web accessibility scanner, which picks up on issues and can help websites with preventing a potential lawsuit down the line. Something that is becoming much more common in recent years.
Over the last year, we have been going through this world-wide pandemic, which has seen a major shift in our relationships with our devices and the amount of time spent online. It has led to people relying on them for work and school and in order to stay entertained, due to the restrictions being enforced and people having to stay home. These devices are also being used for essentials, such as food shopping, medication deliveries and other key areas. So, with the importance never being higher for online, it is surprising that we still see so many different websites closed off, for people with certain disabilities. This is ultimately resulting in more and more web accessibility lawsuits taking place.
A study has also taken place, which tested 10,000,000 websites and whether they were accessibility compliant. These results showed that 98% of menus failed, 83% of buttons failed, 71% of forms failed, 52% of images failed and also 89% of pop-ups failed. These results show that there are still major issues when it comes to website accessibility, despite guidelines continuing to be pushed out and it is also why there continues to be an increase in these web accessibility lawsuits across the US.
Some data has also been collected a few years ago by a successful law firm in the US and it had shown that web accessibility lawsuits had increased by 177% between 2017 and 2018 and this has only increased further over the last few years. We have even now seen lawsuits open up against some of the biggest brands around the world, with the likes of Domino’s Pizza and Nike being two would had inaccessible websites in the past and came under scrutiny for this.
This shows the continued issues that we are seeing around website accessibility and how this is resulting in an increasing number of lawsuits taking place and why websites need to ensure they are making sure they are accessible for all. So how can they do this?
- Make accessibility a priority with a web development roadmap
Websites should be looking to meet accessibility standards from the start and within the contract should focus on complying with WCAG at all levels. This through the roadmap of the site and as it continues to evolve, whilst always keeping check on accessibility standards as a priority.
- Monitor compliance regularly
Businesses are continuing to invest in their online presence, and this sees changes being made to websites, which can then result in website accessibility issues. It is therefore important for websites to ensure they are monitoring regularly and using the previously mentioned tools in order to stay on top of any issues that may arise in this, so they can ensure they do not come under threat of lawsuits themselves.