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COVID-19 and Web Accessibility

Kimberly Springs

Jeff Rodgers

October 01 2 min read

For all of the damage that our measures to flatten the curve and limit transmission of the coronavirus have done to the economy back when this mess all started, it’s easy to imagine how much worse things could have been if this pandemic had struck 25 years ago. Email and videoconferencing have enabled many businesses to continue with minimal disruption and websites, schools have been able to move learning online, and web-based services have allowed at least some retail and delivery-based services to remain open.

Our increased reliance on web and other digital technologies has proportionately raised the stakes for people with disabilities attempting to use inaccessible websites and apps. Especially now, when other help may be harder to access, these users find themselves more dependent on websites to buy groceries, purchase basic goods and access education and medical care.

Lawsuits will continue

Businesses that are frequent targets of ADA surf-by plaintiffs such as retail, restaurants, and travel sites are among those sectors especially hard hit by the coronavirus recession with any remaining business transacted almost exclusively over the web. It’s reasonable to expect that under these economic circumstances, plaintiffs will face more legitimate difficulties in using websites and surf-by plaintiff attorneys will be further incentivized to seek out easy money settlements.

Federal courts are postponing nonessential cases, which can buy you a bit of time. While it’s unlikely that demand letters will slow down, you can take this extra time to remediate your website and bring it into compliance with the WCAG standards (and perhaps even successfully avoid having to pay a settlement through a mootness defense). Especially in these challenging economic times, you should consider automated accessibility as an affordable option that can also significant reduce your liability in days, not months.

Accessiblu can help you

We can talk you through your options and help you reduce your risk. Get in touch to get started with a free consultation.