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Does the Auxiliary Aids Standard Apply To Websites?

Gil v. Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc.

After years of demand letters, complaints and settlements, a website accessibility lawsuit under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act finally went to trial. The case is remarkable not just because it is the first of its kind to go to trial, but also because the court's opinion does not consider whether a website owner can employ alternatives other than WCAG 2.0 to make website content "accessible."

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After years of demand letters, complaints and settlements, a website accessibility lawsuit under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§12181-12189 (ADA or Title III), finally went to trial in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. See, Gil v. Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., Case No. 1:16-cv-23020-RNS (S.D. Fla. June 12, 2017). At the conclusion of the two-day court trial conducted in mid-June, the district court entered judgment against Winn-Dixie Stores, the website’s owner and operator, requiring Winn-Dixie to, among other things, ensure that its website complies with the World Wide Web Consortium’s Website Content Accessibility Guidelines, version 2.0 (WCAG 2.0). The case is remarkable not just because it is the first of its kind to go to trial, but also because the court’s opinion does not consider whether a website owner can employ alternatives other than WCAG 2.0 to make website content “accessible.”

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