What is an Accessibility / ADA Demand Letter?

22 Sep 2021

You received an accessibility demand letter in the mail. Now what?! Unfortunately, many businesses learn that their website or building is not accessible because they receive a demand letter in the mail.

When it comes to websites and website accessibility, there are hundreds, if not thousands of demand letters written and sent to businesses, school, churches, museums, etc every week. It is such a growing trend for online compliance that there are even online courses for law firms such as “Website ADA Compliance: Website Demand Letters & Lawsuits” which help law firms understand demand letters, defend them and issue them.

What is a demand letter?

A demand letter, or letter of demand (of payment), or a solicitor letter or a lawyer letter, is a legal letter written by an attorney that makes a demand. This “demand” usually lists a fee/payment demand or some type of required action based upon a breach of contract, a legal deficiency or legal wrong.

Don’t ignore them!

Demand letters that are not responded to may constitute admissions by silence. The first thing that we recommend doing is calling your lawyer. They can help you qualify the demand letter, determine a response, and plan the next steps.

A demand may will be the start of a claim, what to consider?

What is the Demand?

  • Demand for remediation?
  • Demand for ongoing monitoring?
  • Demand that a consultant be hired?
  • Monetary demand?

Assess costs of fighting versus settlement

  • Make a plan for ongoing compliance
  • There is nothing to stop another plaintiff from bringing another action
  • Move forward with accessibility in mind – online and in person

Checking in, 'life cycle of a claim'

Assess potential insurance coverage

  • Assess Complaint and potential defenses
  • What jurisdiction – Is it a public accommodation?
  • Statute of limitations
  • Standing
  • Mootness

Assess target website

  • Do claimed barriers actually exist?
  • What efforts have been made to enhance accessibility?
  • Do they already have a vendor/overlay?
  • How much education does the client/insured need on this topic?

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