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April 02, 2019

Recent celebrities ADA lawsuits regarding web accessibility

Gal Vizel CMO at accessiBe
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Celebrities these days are no strangers to lawsuits. Recent movements such as #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter are responsible for taking down some of the industry’s most influential personas and have kept celebrities on their toes. Now that stars are being held more accountable for what they do, more people are turning their attention to how they do it.

Although The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has been around since 1990, it has only recently been heavily targeting people who offer digital customer experiences, as per the 2018 DOJ affirmation of The ADA’s coverage of websites. While the ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, website compliance has become the most recent primary focus.

The latest to experience the consequences of not providing disabled internet users with an accessible website is none other than the queen herself, Beyonce. The complaint has been filed by a visually impaired girl, Mary Conner, against Beyonce’s entertainment company Parkwood Entertainment for denying equal access to blind people. The plaintiff also emphasizes the inability of coded alt-text behind the images and the use of a keyboard rather than a mouse.

Kylie Jenner’s cosmetics company Kylie Cosmetics has also been targeted by a visually-impaired woman, Antoinette Suchenko, who claims that the website is incompatible with her screen-reading software. She says that she doesn’t want any money from the lawsuit but wants to ensure that Kylie’s website follows ADA standards so that people with disabilities can easily buy her products.

Pharrell William’s online clothing companies Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream are being sued for violating The ADA’s terms by blind plaintiff Victor Lopez who has filed 21 similar allegations against companies such as Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Swarovski, and B&H Photo.

While these celebrity offenses are being made more public, similar lawsuits are being filed all over the country. The lawsuits related to ADA web accessibility have increased by 183% in just one year, from 814 cases in 2017 to 2285 in 2018. Domino’s Pizza learned this the hard way when it lost in court to a blind plaintiff who had difficulty ordering pizza because the website wasn’t compatible with standard screen reading software. The disabled community has spoken - and we are listening.  

The good news is that whether you are a celebrity or a small business owner of an online store, not only can you avoid being caught off guard when it comes to website accessibility, but it is actually more cost-effective.

accessiBe is the only solution that offers an AI-powered mechanism that adjusts websites according to the user - and it’s all done automatically. In addition, it is affordable! For an automated, AI-powered web accessibility platform that significantly reduces your chances of paying a hefty lawsuit, accessiBe starts at $490 a year - and this is about 70% lower than most of its competitors.

As 15% of the world’s population falls into the disability category, the increase in revenue from this demographic is massive. By complying with ADA regulations via online tools such as accessiBe, you will be opening your website to more website transactions and loyal customers, and eliminating the possibility of getting sued.Want to make your website ADA & WCAG2.1 compliant? Contact us for more info, or just start 7 days trial for free (no cc required).

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