Accessibility Bulletin 2022, April

28 Apr 2022 | General | Legislation | Accessibility

Michelle Hay
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We’ve had another month where website accessibility has frequently made the headlines. We’ve seen new sectors and big businesses targeted with lawsuits in US courts, articles on the link between accessibility and search engine optimisation and much more! 

Here are a few of the top news pieces we’ve seen:

How I Shop Online As A Blind Person

This article gives a good insight into how people living with disabilities navigate and experience the web. One particular part that should raise eyebrows to those responsible for websites is: "Whenever I've found an inaccessible website, I always tell my friends, hoping to spare them from any frustration I went through."

Google: Accessibility Not A Direct Ranking Factor

This article talks about a question Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller was recently asked regarding links and accessibility. Whilst John states accessibility isn’t a direct impact, this isn't an excuse to not address accessibility, as this article states: "However, Mueller acknowledges the importance of accessibility and doesn’t rule out the possibility of it becoming a ranking factor in the future.".

New DOJ Guidance on ADA Web Accessibility Leaves Unanswered Questions

Whilst the Department for Justice (DOJ) has published guidance on best practices for offering accessible and usable websites which comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), this piece highlights that there are still unanswered questions, in particular whether all websites offering goods or services for sale need to comply with the ADA or only those connected to a brick and mortar seller.

California Wineries Hit by Americans with Disabilities Act Lawsuits Over Website Accessibility: Andres Gomez Case Rejected by Federal Judge

This piece highlights how yet another sector is being hit in California, the hot bed for accessibility litigation. The problem isn’t going away, and organizations need to be aware of the ADA website litigation risk that non-compliance brings.

Bringing Website Accessibility Lawsuits In New York Just Got A Little Harder For Repeat Plaintiffs

This article discusses a recent Second Circuit decision that a plaintiff’s inability to obtain information from the website alone was not a sufficient injury to confer standing, instead a plaintiff must show that he or she had a need for the information, goods and services offered by the website and that there were “downstream consequences” resulting from the alleged inability to use the website. 

Web accessibility emerges as a top CIO priority

This piece discusses how website accessibility needs to be embraced as a corporate value and what the legal risk to organizations is, with lawsuits continually rising. Whilst in some organizations pushing the accessibility argument might be hard, as this article states, it’s worth it in the long run. 

Yankee Candle Class Action Alleges Website Design Denies Equal Access To Blind, Visually Impaired

Another big name having a lawsuit brought against them has made the headlines. One noteworthy part of this case, filed in New York, is that the plaintiff is demanding a jury trial and requesting injunctive and declaratory relief along with compensatory and statutory damages for himself and all class members. A case to watch for updates.

Does Your Website Have Any of These 10 Most-Cited Accessibility Issues?

We often get asked what the issues with websites are, that cause them to go to court. Whilst these are frequently to with form field labels, alt text and link text, this article goes into quite some technical depth about what other common accessibility issues are found on website.