There are multiple notable updates for the ADA website legal landscape for 2023:
- Decrease in serial litigation
- DOJ website accessibility regulation (for Title II)
- WCAG 2.2 release
- ADA Compliance Course opens
Let’s touch on each.
“ADA Website” Litigation Decreases
I fully expect the number of demand letters and lawsuits filed in state and federal court to decline in 2023. California and New York, the two most litigious states when it comes to website accessibility, have had significant pro-defense decisions in 2022, with courts in both states becoming increasingly disgusted at “ADA Website” plaintiffs.
In California, online-only businesses (e.g., a Shopify website with no connection to a physical presence) can no longer be sued.
In New York, boilerplate complaints that have been rampant for the past few years will now be dismissed in federal court.
In summary, the two hot beds for website accessibility litigation are turning on the plaintiffs’ lawyers.
DOJ Title II Regulation
Another noteworthy update is the Department of Justice (DOJ) will issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to amend regulations to Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This amendment will specifically cover website accessibility, but there was no mention of other technology in the rule titled, “Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability: Accessibility of Web Information and Services of State and Local Governments.”
Although this seemingly is irrelevant to private entities because it is for Title II, this regulation is very likely to impact subsequent regulation for public entities under Title III. Expect regulatory action for private entities in late 2023 and 2024.
WCAG 2.2 Official Release
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) will also finally publish their official documentation in December 2022 or early 2023. The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has delayed and delayed this release, but we’re finally here.
Although there are no legal ramifications for 2023 (it’s too soon for WCAG 2.2 to be incorporated into the law, at least in the United States), many people will be watching to see whether the DOJ incorporates WCAG 2.2 into regulation or requires it in any potential private enforcement action.
ADA Compliance Course
With regulation for private entities imminent, many budget strained businesses and organizations will seek out ways to reduce their costs when it comes to audits and remediation for website accessibility.
My ADA Compliance Course will drastically reduce the cost associated with website accessibility while helping everyone from small businesses to corporations reduce their risk of litigation and/or non-compliance with the ADA.