“If you have a voice, use it. If you have legs, stand up. If you have feet, step up. If you have each other, fight together.” ― Janna Cachola
I am hearing from our members on a regular basis on the increase of letters being received from attorneys or justice groups around the country blanketing our members with letters accusing properties of not being ADA compliant, with no real basis in their claims or representing individuals that never stayed at these properties. These letters are outlining claims of non-compliance for both the Physical side of ADA and the Website side of ADA.
This past fall Lisa Kolb (Acorn Internet Services) did a series of webinars, one on the required website side of ADA and one on the physical side of the newest lawsuits happening. The data covered in these webinars provides some great insight into what innkeepers should be doing to protect themselves in case of a lawsuit.
It is our understanding that there is an attorney in California that has filed over 250 this year. Also, an attorney in Florida who has now branched out into other nearby states with lawsuits. I met with one of our members in Pennsylvania yesterday that recently received this letter from the Florida attorney. There are other AIHP allied partners that are also working on this for their clients and we will be collectively trying to gather as much information as we can from our partners to be able to share with our lodging members who may be facing these issues.
We are actively working with a few of our larger state partners who have attorney relationships to see what options may be available to help our members with guidance on these issues. If you are hit with a suit you should contact your attorney and where it may include your website you should contact your webmaster and marketing firm. As I mentioned we are looking for additional resources for members that may not have attorneys or other resources they can turn to for help.
Some good information came out of these webinars (*Thank you to Lisa and her team at Acorn Internet Services for providing the webinar and information to AIHP and our members)