CUNA staff recently held a member webinar to discuss the threats and compliance challenges credit unions face surrounding website accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The webinar had nearly 1,000 registrants – if you missed it – you can register to watch the recorded version via this link!
The LSCU has established a page on our website with resources for credit unions. You may view it here.
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.
During the webinar attendees heard from:
- Ryan Donovan, CUNA’s Chief Advocacy Officer
- Jared Ihrig, CUNA’s Chief Compliance Officer
- Leah Dempsey, CUNA’s Senior Director of Advocacy & Counsel
- Carolos Molina, CUNA Mutual Consultant on Risk Management
A few highlights from the webinar
- “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. “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 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. 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.
This issue 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.
In addition to hosting this webinar, CUNA has been advocating on behalf of America’s credit unions through a number of channels including:
- Letters to House and Senate Judiciary Committees
- Spearheaded efforts that resulted in 61 Members of Congress raising ADA concerns in a letter to the DOJ
- Stay up to date on the latest happenings by visiting the ADA Website Accessibility page on CUNA.org
CUNA will be hosting a breakout session on this issue at the Governmental Affairs Conference entitled, “Fighting Back against Predatory Class Action Litigation for Website Accessibility.” The breakout session will be held on Monday, Feb. 26 from 2:45 p.m. to 4 p.m.