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22 Mar, 2024
a man in glasses is sitting with laptop and smartphone reviewing accessibility lawsuits statistics report

ADA Lawsuit Statistics for 2023

Now that 2023 has come and gone, we look back on it with a new perspective to draw meaningful insight and inspiration and plan to carry the best of ourselves through 2024 and beyond. As a business owner, you are keenly aware of the analytical insights you can draw from the prior business year, and 2023 is no exception. So, when Forbes Magazine (online edition) pointed out that 2023 saw website accessibility lawsuits “rising exponentially,” we reviewed the data.

According to Forbes, as of June 2023, the trajectory for the year was on track to hit 4,220 website accessibility lawsuits filed under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). But guess what? This outsized number wasn’t just met; it was surpassed! According to web accessibility insights from UseableNet’s Year End Report, 2023 ended with approximately 4,500 digital accessibility lawsuits under the ADA. 

This data is supported by other statistics indicating that 25% of all digital accessibility lawsuits filed under the ADA in 2023 targeted previously sued companies. In addition, the vast majority of the lawsuits sought forced regulatory compliance for e-commerce websites, most of which were operating at under 25 million in annual revenue. This means that small businesses were the primary target by a long shot.

When the data was analyzed on a per-state basis, it was even more revealing, with certain states (such as New York) taking a solid lead in terms of web accessibility cases filed. The reason for the disparity among the states currently is disagreement in the various federal circuit courts about the best approach for enforcing conformity with ADA rules. As we’ve written about previously, some states are at the leading edge of website accessibility regulation, and others are still catching up. 

However, with the Department of Justice (DOJ) focusing on web accessibility for people with disabilities as a top priority and pushing to enforce compliance standards under the globally embraced Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), 2024 should see an even sharper increase in the number of small online businesses targeted by lawsuits or regulatory fines

What does this mean? With notable and persistent year-over-year increases in ADA lawsuits, 2023 was likely a harbinger of what lies ahead in the online business landscape. Website accessibility lawsuits and forced ADA compliance are clearly on trend to continue breaking records. 

As advocates for both people with disabilities and businesses, at Allyada, we bridge the gap between savvy business moves and greater accessibility for blind and visually impaired consumers in the world of e-commerce. 

Anyone who has to navigate the online world with a visual disability knows firsthand how difficult it can be to overcome some of the challenges that prevent free and easy access to the general flow of life. But after 2023, it is clear that the website accessibility compliance train has left the station, and there is no slowing it down. Get a ticket to board now, or get a lawsuit and a fine later!

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