This week on The Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast, Felicia Watson of NAHB joins Greg and Kevin to discuss the importance of achieving and maintaining ADA website compliance.
As more and more home building customers look to the internet for information and buy options, websites are at the forefront legally. Felicia explains that
“People use the internet to do a lot of research, to access information, but if you have a website that someone with a disability cannot properly use, then that exposes you to liability, and so, that’s why I thought this was something that was important.”
The issue of website accessibility is not going away. Felicia says
“This is a trending issue. The number of cases that have increased over the last few years just continues in this field. Yes, disability rights lawyers still target the physical aspects of buildings that are not accessible, restaurants, gas stations, movie theaters, sidewalks in communities, but the other flip side of that is because so much has moved online, that is kind of fair game.”
Felicia implores home builders specifically to
“Do what you can to figure out what you need to fix with your website and take those steps. Have a plan, right? You need to have a plan, assess it, and then figure out how are you going to roll out compliance.”
Listen to this week’s episode to learn about ADA compliance and how to get in front of website accessibility issues.
About the Guest:
Felicia Watson serves as Assistant Vice President with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB’s) Office of Legal Affairs where her practice focuses on construction liability, labor, safety and health, building materials, privacy, and international trade. She also works on compliance and litigation related to the Americans with Disabilities Act,and has written amicus curiae briefs in support of the Association and members concerning the Clean Water Act, construction liability and economic loss claims, standing in Fair Housing Act litigation, and transfer to the Multidistrict Litigation for Chinese drywall insurance coverage. Felicia has written comments on behalf of NAHB in several federal rulemakings including softwood lumber, amending safe harbors under the Fair Housing Act, and labor, safety, and health issues. She is a co-author of “Warranties for Builders and Remodelers” published by BuilderBooks. Most recently, she worked with colleagues in developing a free mobile application “pocket guide” to the Fair Housing Act.
Prior to joining NAHB, she practiced law in Washington, D.C. focusing on administrative, regulatory, and civil litigation. Felicia also served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney prosecuting felony domestic violence cases and providing annual evidentiary training for local law enforcement.
Felicia is admitted to the bars of the District of Columbia and Washington, the U.S. Supreme Court, and a number of federal circuit courts of appeal. She received her J.D. from Gonzaga University School of Law and an LL.M. in International & Comparative Law from Georgetown University Law Center. She also holds a B.A. from Seattle University.