Web Accessibility Lawsuits Pose Threat to Edinburgh Businesses

Edinburgh businesses with U.S.-accessible websites risk costly ADA web accessibility lawsuits surging 100+ cases in 2023. Even smaller businesses were targeted, with 77% of 2022 suits against companies under £20M in revenue.
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Edinburgh businesses with websites accessible from the United States could be facing a ticking legal timebomb. Web accessibility lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are surging at an alarming rate.

These lawsuits allege that websites and mobile apps not accessible to users with disabilities like vision or hearing impairments are liable for charges. The numbers are skyrocketing, with 414 federal ADA lawsuits filed against companies in just the first half of 2023 - over 100 more cases than in 2022.

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The dramatic rise has been fueled by opportunistic U.S. law firms sensing a lucrative opportunity, with firms like Mars Khaimov Law and Stein Saks behind a staggering 82% of all digital accessibility cases last year.

Liam Webster, Web Design and Development ExpertLiam Webster, Web Design and Development Expert
Liam Webster, Web Design and Development Expert

Smaller Edinburgh businesses are squarely in the firing line too. A worrying 77% of cases in 2022 involved companies under £20 million in revenue. The e-commerce sector has been particularly devastated, accounting for 84% of all suits.

For Edinburgh companies, if you digitally sell even a single unit in the U.S., you could be liable to the full extent of the law. But e-commerce isn't the only at-risk sector - service businesses like hotels that accept online bookings from the U.S. face the same legal jeopardy.

"Businesses of all sizes in Edinburgh, especially smaller ones who think they're flying under the radar, need to understand their legal obligations around website accessibility," cautioned Liam Webster, Co-Founder of local web design firm Identify Digital.

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Common web accessibility pitfalls include lack of keyboard navigation, missing image alt-text, unclear form fields, low contrast, no video captions, and non-descriptive links. Fixing these issues is crucial.

Edinburgh companies must adopt robust accessibility strategies involving manual audits, code fixes, and specialist consultation to reduce legal risks from their U.S.-facing websites and apps. The benefits of getting it right? Protecting your brand while delivering an inclusive digital experience.

The clock is ticking for Edinburgh businesses to get accessibility compliant before they find themselves hit by a crippling lawsuit. The time to act is now.

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