Website Liability Legal Update (Including Winn-Dixie)


Presented at 8:00am in Plaza Court 2 on Wednesday, November 17, 2021.



  • Ken Nakata, Principal, Converge Accessibility

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: General Conference


This presentation lays the groundwork for understanding website liability, with a special focus on how the Winn-Dixie decision affects the current legal balance. Then the presentation focuses on common day-to-day questions—and how they have been answered by Federal courts.


Understanding important civil rights laws like the American Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 and 508, and California’s Unruh Act is vital. But the tapestry of evolving accessibility laws can be confusing. Join Ken Nakata, a former Senior Trial Attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice who spearheaded the Department’s efforts in web and IT accessibility for a discusses that covers topics such as:

1. How laws like Section 504, 508, ADA and California Unruh Act affect websites 2. How courts have answered important questions. For instance, can my organization be sued by someone who has no intent of using our goods or services? Or, can I be sued when I just settled a lawsuit from another plaintiff?

On April 7, 2021, the Eleventh Circuit announced its decision in Gil v. Winn-Dixie, which severely undercut the ADA's potential coverage of websites. This presentation will also help participants understand where it came from, what it means, and how it affects web accessibility.


  1. Understand how different accessibility laws work
  2. Understand how the Winn-Dixie impacts web accessibility
  3. Understand how Federal courts have addressed common defenses

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Legal, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Ken Nakata

Ken Nakata is a technology-focused civil rights attorney. His work focuses on web accessibility from both a legal and technical perspective. He also helps organizations manage the change towards accessibility in all aspects-including crafting policies, developing stakeholder ownership, and forging awareness and commitment to the legal and business case supporting accessibility. Ken worked for twelve years as a Senior Trial Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice. He has argued on behalf of the United States government many times before the federal courts and has helped shape the government’s policies for the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. In addition to litigation, he also helped developed many of the Department’s policies, including Accessibility of State and Local Government Websites to People with Disabilities and which reflects the Department’s current view towards ADA compliance for state and local government websites. Ken is a frequent speaker on both law and technology and is equally adept at conducting one-on-one workshops with programmers and developers as well as explaining law and policy to large audiences. He is a Founding and former Board Member of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP). Ken is admitted to the bars of New York, Washington, and the District of Columbia and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He also received his undergraduate degree in mathematics from the Johns Hopkins University. He is also certified as a privacy professional with the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), a Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Principals (CPACP) with the IAAP, and a Sun Certified Programmer for the Java 2 Platform.