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The scales of justice

Bank iconSince mid-September, a Virginia man has filed a series of lawsuits against at least nine credit unions for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The complaints, which were filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, allege that the credit unions—including ABNB Federal Credit Union, Arlington Community Federal Credit Union, and Blue Eagle Credit Union—have websites that are inaccessible to users who are blind or visually impaired.

The plaintiff, Keith Carroll, is blind and uses a screen reader to access the internet. Carroll alleges in his complaint that he encountered inaccessible content and barriers when visiting the credit unions’ websites. In his complaint against Arlington Community Federal Credit Union, for example, Carroll alleged that he was unable to take advantage of the website’s facility locator using his screen reader.

These complaints are part of a growing body of civil rights complaints brought under Title III of the ADA and other accessibility statutes. As the internet becomes more and more prevalent in everyday life, people with disabilities have increasingly turned to the law to remove the barriers they experience in the fast-growing digital world. In 2016, there was a 37 percent increase in ADA lawsuits, with much of that growth in suits centered on website accessibility.

Level Access will continue to track these lawsuits as they make their way through court, and will keep you posted with updates.

This blog post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.