Agents and brokers at risk of lawsuits over website accessibility

  • It's likely only a matter of time before the Department of Justice mandates website accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to NAR associate counsel Lesley Walker.
  • Agents, brokers, associations and MLSs are all at risk of litigation if their public-facing websites or online internal systems are not ADA compliant.
  • There are some concrete steps real estate businesses can take to get ahead of this issue.

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At the National Association of Realtors midyear conference in May, MLS CEO Shelley Specchio stood up in a crowd of hundreds of fellow MLS executives and announced that one of her members had filed a charge of disability discrimination against her multiple listing service, Northern Nevada Regional MLS. Specchio spoke during a session on website compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. “I wanted to say that out loud so that everyone takes this very seriously,” Specchio said at the time.