NEW YORK, US, 27th July 2023 - Risk experts have revealed that 97% of US colleges do not have accessibility compliant websites and could face millions of dollars in litigation fees and payouts.
Risk management experts AAAtraq are warning college bosses that education is now one of the top three targets for lawyers – worth a whopping $600 million per month in fees – and having non-compliant websites will make them targets for litigation.
AAAtraq’s July audit shows that most of the 97% of colleges who failed The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance tests were let down on their home page, leaving them sitting ducks and exposed to unnecessary legal action.
AAAtraq’s July audit can be found at: https://aaatraq.com/index/higher-education/2023/07
Laurence Shaw, from AAAtraq, said that it took just 30 seconds to identify failings in most websites, which could save individual education institutions thousands of dollars.
“We are really concerned that colleges and universities are being told their sites are compliant, but in reality they are not and no-one knows how to check. Time and time again we are having to prove those who are providing digital services wrong. In any other sector a project would not be signed off by the supplier. There has been a distinct lack of accountability in this market, and we want to change that.
“It is becoming ever more evident that compliance methods are failing, underpinning the need for a risk managed rather than technically led approach,” he added.
AAAtraq is calling for Chief Financial Officers and Risk Managers to ensure they have control of website project sign offs to ensure someone other than the company carrying out the work is signing off on such important criteria and saving them from exposure to unnecessary legal action.
The company, which works with organizations across the US, offers a free assessment and risk audit that will help colleges identify whether they have compliance issues with their websites within 30 seconds to a minute.
Updated laws recently announced could be brutal for both education institutions and their vendors if they do not prioritize compliance ‘causing a tsunami of litigation’, with both the organization and the vendor being held accountable for what today are such simple to demonstrate compliance failures.