The internet was not what it is today when The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1990. This law prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in all areas of public life – jobs, schools, transportation, access to areas that are open to the general public – and has been extended since then to include websites and web applications. Courts today are interpreting Title III of the ADA, which requires places of “public accommodation” like hotels, to ensure that their web presences are accessible.
published by Open Doors Organization found that American adults with disabilities spend more than $17 billion a year on travel. The hotel industry is crucial to American travelers with disabilities, and hoteliers should focus on strategies to meet their needs and confirm these guests can plan their travels and conduct necessary bookings online.
According to UsableNet (a website accessibility company), last year there were 2,285 ADA website lawsuits filed in the nation’s federal courts, an increase of 181% from 2017. A number of hotel companies have received legal complaints and lawsuits related to their websites not conforming to the ADA, underscoring the need for hoteliers to proactively ensure their content is compliant.