website accessibility discrimination

Website accessibility discrimination refers to an assertion by people with disabilities (mostly individuals with visual and, to a lesser extent, hearing impairments) who allege that, because a company's website is inaccessible to them, the business has violated Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

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At least one federal district court has ruled that a business did violate Title III of the ADA by discriminating against a visually impaired customer who could not access the company's website. While there is no federal law requiring companies to adhere to specific Web accessibility standards, the World Wide Web Consortium (an international standards organization) has promulgated guidelines aimed at making website content accessible to people with disabilities. The federal district court referred to above ruled that compliance with such standards absolves a business of liability for website accessibility discrimination. Since persons who bring website accessibility discrimination lawsuits are almost always customers rather than employees, website accessibility lawsuits suits are third-party employment liability claims. Thus, they are addressed by Coverage B of employment practices liability insurance policies.