When thinking about disability accommodations, don’t focus solely on disabled employees. If you serve the public, the ADA also requires you to consider your disabled customers’ needs.

That includes your virtual workplace, too. Don’t lost sight of your obligations to make your website and other materials accessible to blind customers.

In the past two years, more than 240 businesses have been sued in federal court over website accessibility, and thousands more have been hit with “demand letters” from attorneys. A few years ago, Target paid $6 million to settle a class-action suit related to its inaccessible website.

Recent case: Victor, who is blind, sued an arts supply store, claiming the company’s website failed to live up to ADA accessibility standards. He argues that because he couldn’t buy supplies online, he has to spend time and money to get to a physical store.

The court concluded that the ADA requires more than just accessibility in physical locations. If a retailer operates in the virtual realm, its online presence must also be accessible to disabled people.

The court concluded the case could move forward because, under the ADA, Victor has a substantive right to obtain effective access to the company’s website to learn about the products and make purchases – the same privileges available to the general public. (Andrew v. Blick Art Materials, ED NY)

Source: The HR Specialist | October 2017