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ADA Lawsuits, Financial Institutions in the Crosshair

By on February 15th, 2018 in Web

Financial institutions of all sizes continue to be the target of lawsuits challenging their websites’ compliance with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). These claims against financial institutions allege that their websites are places of public accommodation and are not-fully accessible to disabled persons, including people that rely on assistive devices such as screen readers to access web-based content.

Nearly 20 percent of Americans live with a disability and the ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities and guarantees equal opportunities for them in employment, transportation, public accommodations, state and local government services, and telecommunications.

Although the ADA itself doesn’t directly address websites, industry experts and several court decisions take the position that the ADA is applicable to websites and similar technologies such as mobile apps.

LKCS has been aware of this issue for well over two years and has hosted webinars on the topic. The LKCS web development team has the knowledge, tools, and experience to assist with bringing websites into alignment with the practical standards of web accessibility that exist, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG) developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

In December 2017, the Department of Justice formally withdrew setting standards for website accessibility from its agenda. While this matter has been officially set as inactive, attorneys nationwide are targeting financial institutions with demand letters and threats of litigation pertaining to their websites not meeting the WCAG accessibility guidelines.

To avoid the high cost of a legal settlements, financial institutions must demonstrate that they are taking steps to make their websites accessible to people with a wide range of disabilities along with procedures to maintain and update the accessibility as WCAG guidelines change over time.

LKCS is helping financial institutions, across the nation bring their websites in line with the WCAG 2.0 guidelines at the AA Level. So far, over 50 institutions have found a great value in partnering with LKCS to make their websites accessible for people with disabilities.

“In light of recent Credit Union lawsuits statewide, UCCU has been tasked with ensuring that our website is ADA compliant and that we are meeting the needs of all of our current and potential members. Being a small institution without a dedicated Compliance Officer, it is imperative that we have a trusted business to turn to in order to accomplish this task. LKCS is always easy to work with and their expertise is essential to helping our small business marketing succeed. As always they responded very quickly to our request and completed getting our website in compliance.”

Mark Dietrich, CEO, United Community Credit Union, Quincy, IL.

LKCS’ web accessibility services include auditing websites for adherence to the WCAG guidelines, making changes and updates to achieve accessibility, ongoing monitoring and reporting of potential future accessibility concerns, as well as complete website design and development services.

LKCS’ web accessibility services objective is to design and provide effective and affordable solutions that improves websites for everyone.

If you’re interested in LKCS’ web accessibility services or any other service LKCS offers to improve your marketing success, contact LKCS today.