Nearly 1,000 credit union stakeholders tuned into to CUNA’s members-only webinar on website accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Thursday. For those unable to attend, registration is currently open to watch a recorded version of the webinar, which will be posted soon.
Credit unions have been facing increasing legal threats due to uncertainty over the ADA’s application to websites. One potential solution is for credit unions to ensure their websites are in compliance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.
“We’re working hard to get the government to provide a resolution that helps all credit unions, but it’s important to know, and this can’t be over-emphasized, that the best thing a credit union can today to protect itself is to update your website to the WCAG 2.0 standards,” said Ryan Donovan, CUNA’s chief advocacy officer. “Frankly, a government solution may take a long time, but we believe if a credit union’s website is WCAG 2.0 compliant the risk of being sued is reduced.”
Leah Dempsey, CUNA senior director of advocacy and counsel, said credit unions are facing more than threats, as law firms have moved on to seeking litigation against credit unions they say are not in compliance.
“If you settle with one law firm, nothing precludes you from getting hit with another threat, from a different or even the same law firm,” she said. “CUNA is looking for opportunities for our legal advocacy team to get involved, and we need to hear from you if those opportunities arise.”
Jared Ihrig, CUNA’s chief compliance officer, recommended credit unions conduct an ADA compliance audit of their websites and other digital content, post an accessibility statement on their websites and implement a long-term accessibility strategy among other strategies.
He pointed members to CUNA’s FAQ document on ADA accessibility, eGuide on the ADA, and CUNA’s Compliance Community.
Going forward, Donovan said this has become a top advocacy priority for CUNA, and it will continue its work with the House Judiciary Committee, Department of Justice and individual members of Congress to come up with a solution.
To date, CUNA has: