Special districts are independent, governmental agencies or entities established to deliver specialized services to the community, including health, safety, and well-being. Think fire departments, sewer/water districts, and parks departments.
Often special districts use private, outside companies to manage parts of the special district’s operations, such as hosting and maintenance of websites. Under Title II of the ADA, public sector websites are required to be accessible for persons with disabilities. Most commonly, this requires that the website be coded properly to be compatible with screen reader software, which enables blind users who rely on that software to listen to, use and navigate the website.
Disabled plaintiffs can, and often do, file lawsuits against public sector entities for violation of the ADA when websites or other elements are not accessible. Penalties for noncompliance can be severe. Typically, an ADA plaintiff will seek injunctive relief (a court order requiring compliance), attorneys’ fees, and in some states (including California and New York) statutory damages. In California, for example, statutory damages of $4,000 per occurrence can add up quickly. Large class action lawsuits can reach into the millions. Continue ›