Presented by Jordan B. Schwartz and Megan S. Shaked
The worldwide pandemic has not slowed down lawsuits filed against hotels and other places of public accommodation alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Indeed, hundreds of lawsuits continue to be filed against hotels for their failure to identify and describe accessible features at their properties in sufficient detail on their websites. In a new twist, many of these lawsuits now also allege that Online Travel Agencies (“OTAs”) such as Orbitz or Expedia fail to provide information about the accessible amenities of the hotel, including its rooms, to individuals with disabilities, or fail to allow an individual with a disability to book an accessible guestroom. While it may seem counterintuitive that a Hotel would be responsible for the information provided on the OTAs website, that often is the case.
A ton of ADA lawsuits also continue to be filed alleging that hotel websites cannot be used by individuals with visual or hearing impairments. Thus, it is extremely important that businesses ensure the accessibility of their websites while also providing an appropriate “accessibility statement” explaining to users the steps you have taken to improve your website’s accessibility.
Unfortunately, there is no sign that these types of lawsuits are slowing down. On the contrary, serial plaintiffs continue to file dozens of these lawsuits each and every day. This presentation will present practical tips and cost-effective strategies for managing the risk of ADA-related litigation in this ever-evolving area of the law.
Participants will learn about the following:
• How to draft an appropriate website accessibility statement;
• What accessible features to list on your website to reduce your legal exposure;
• What questions to ask OTAs to ensure that they are not creating liability for your property;
• Best practices for ensuring that your website is accessible.