A smartphone, tablet, and laptop showing an image of a person in a wheelchair and the letters ADA

ADA and the Internet: So You Got a Demand Letter…Now What?

Written by: Beth Crutchfield

A number of our clients have received demand letters from ADA plaintiff’s attorneys. As there seems to be a great bit of confusion behind these letters, I’d like to share a few notes to clear things up.

First, take a deep breath. The vast majority of demand letters we have seen are boilerplate letters that are based principally on automatic test results and are little informed by expert testing. You may not have much—if anything—to worry about in terms of remediating your website.

Next, don’t call us. Don’t call any technical expert in the digital accessibility space. Instead, contact your in-house legal team or external counsel and decide on an approach for handling the legal matter. Counsel is critical, as are issues of attorney-client privilege, and they need to be thought through before engaging with technical experts.

Once counsel has been secured, then you’re ready to talk with a firm like Level Access. We typically engage with legal teams first. As the situation evolves, the engagement model evolves accordingly.

Proceed with a healthy skepticism about the nature and structure of the technical issues that are noted in these demand letters. A technical expert like Level Access will sort them out in conjunction with your legal counsel and development teams.

Most organizations start the process with an audit of the relevant asset to determine its compliance with a key accessibility standard such as WCAG 2.0 AA. As noted in my previous article in the series, the WCAG does not have direct regulatory relevance, but it does serve as a well-known and widely agreed upon benchmark for accessibility. Based on the results of the audit, organizations then work with a firm like Level Access to build a multi-year accessibility compliance roadmap and program.

Stay Tuned….

Watch for the next installment in this series, “ADA Settlements – Fitting Accessibility Compliance into Your Product Lifecycle