Website Liability Legal Update

Handouts Media

Presented at 11:15am in Virtual C on Thursday, November 19, 2020.



  • Ken Nakata, Principal, Converge Accessibility

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 45 minutes
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: Pre-conference


Do you understand how disability laws affect websites? This presentation quickly lays the groundwork for understanding website liability. Then the presentation shifts gears to focus on common day-to-day questions—and how they have answered by Federal courts.


If you are new to web accessibility or a seasoned veteran, 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 Federal, State and industry-specific 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?


  1. Understand how different accessibility laws work
  2. Understand which accessibility laws apply to my organization
  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.