ADA compliance issues appear to be on the rise for real estate professionals. But what is ADA compliance when it comes to websites. To put it simply, ADA refers to the American Disabilities Act, which requires all public spaces to be accessible to those with disabilities. This includes things like handicapped parking spaces, ramps, and bathrooms. In late 2019 the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from Dominos Pizza after a federal appellate court ruled that a blind customer could sue the chain under the Americans with Disabilities Act because he could not fully use their website through screen reading software. You can read more here.
Although non-compliant websites are not technically illegal, if an individual with disabilities comes across your website and is unable to access certain features of it, they can sue on the basis of the ADA. Because most courts have interpreted websites to fall under the category of “public space” as defined in the ADA, most judges rule on the side of the plaintiff and companies have to either settle out of court or pay large fines. We have recently learned that a very large number of realtors in Florida and at least one local Real Estate Association has received demand letters and complaints from a law firm alleging violations of the federal and Florida Fair Housing Acts. The firm alleges that the realtor’s and the association’s websites fail to provide accessibility options for the disabled.
These notices have been received by real estate professionals statewide. Though it does not appear that the actual complaints have been filed in federal court at this point, the demand letters threaten litigation. If an association receives such a letter, the association should contact the local board attorney and the National Association of Realtors® immediately. If a realtor receives such a letter, the realtor should contact their broker and attorney. Deciding whether to fight a demand or settle a claim is a legal decision.
We have been working with real estate professionals for close to 10 years. ADA compliance is a problem that we can help them solve. We have partnered with a company that is transforming web accessibility by replacing a costly, manual process with automated, state-of-the-art AI technology. This allows us to rapidly roll out a cost-effective solution that not only protects against lawsuits but also and even more importantly creates a more inclusive website.
This solution helps:
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Ongoing WCAG & ADA compliance even when website updates
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Accessibility statement and certification of performance
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Emailing you a professional compliance audit every month
If you or a real estate professional you know is in need of help with compliance. We are here to help. With a cost starting at only $490 per year per domain up to 1000 pages. We will get you set up and install the code on your website at no cost as long as you provide us with the required access. If you want to sign up and install it your self just click here.