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. The ADA was enacted in 1990 to prohibit discrimination and ensure equal opportunity for people with disabilities in employment, state and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation, according to the ADA website. 'Hundreds of lawsuits' have already been filed The ADA is often thought of as something that applies only to physical spaces, but it is likely only a matter of time before the Department of Justice mandates accessibility onlin...
- 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.