In 2023, we will see multiple key developments that will alter the ADA website compliance landscape.
The most significant change will be a decrease in the number of demand letters and lawsuits in state and federal court. California and New York, the two most litigious states when it comes to website accessibility have had major anti-plaintiff lawyer decisions in 2022, with courts in both states becoming increasingly disgusted the abusive litigation from plaintiffs’ law firms.
Another big development is the Department of Justice (DOJ) intends to publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to amend regulations to Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to specify requirements for website accessibility.
This is extremely important because regulations that apply to public entities under Title II (such as state and local governments) are very likely to carry forward into the private sector under Title III. Because a framework will already be in place from the Title II regulation amendment, we could see Title III website accessibility regulation come in rapid succession, potentially by 2024.
Another notable event will be the official release of WCAG 2.2. While WCAG 2.2 AA will not become a legal requirement in 2023 and it’s highly unlikely plaintiffs’ law firms incorporate WCAG 2.2 success criteria in any claims, it will be extremely interesting to see what the DOJ does in terms of private enforcement actions and the aforementioned proposed Title II regulation amendment.
If the DOJ incorporates 2.2, it may become the standard private entities are held to in future Title III regulation.
Another development comes from within the product and service marketplace for digital accessibility. My ADA Compliance Course will open in 2023 and make it easier (and much more affordable) for everyone – from non-profits to small businesses to corporations – to audit and remediate their websites for WCAG conformance. This will provide much needed relief to budgets for website accessibility and ADA compliance.