The situation in the US is a complete tangent to this discussion, but here goes. As you may know, the US is plagued with ambulance chasing parasite lawyers who file spurious ADA claims against the websites of organisations with particular profiles in the expectation of a rapid pay-out.
The victim organisations are usually in one of a limited number of sectors, such as luxury goods retailers, restaurants, hotels, leisure and fashion retailers. They are large enough to be worth suing, but small enough (perhaps a turnover of no more than $200M) that they don’t have a large legal team who will drag things out forever. The perps want to get in and out quick.
The whole thing is a cynical cookie-cutter scam during which no disabled person has been involved, let alone experienced a barrier to service, although the lawyer may pay a disabled person to say they did.
The lawyer uses an automated testing tool, with WAVE being the tool of choice. If it finds any accessibility issues, the lawyer slaps the organisation with a boilerplate set of legal paperwork. Note that the paperwork is always identical. The issues the tool found may not be in the paperwork and vice versa.
When I raised this with a client who was being sued, they said their lawyers didn’t want to argue about technical intricacies in front of a judge and jury who don’t understand it. It just looks like you’re trying to weasel out of your responsibilities, which could make the eventual penalties even worse.
If things go to plan, the lawyer makes perhaps $20k to $50k for a couple of days’ work, and they might do a dozen of these every month. Sadly, this is possible because US law is a joke, and a bad one at that. In just about every other country, the equality laws require the plaintiff to notify the potential defendant of any accessibility issues and allow them time to fix them or provide the service by other means. But in the US, none of that is necessary - the first you know is when you get slapped with a law suit.
My advice to US clients is to first ensure that your website does not show any faults when tested with an automated testing tool. That means not just fixing the genuine issues, but doing whatever is necessary to eliminate the false positives. If the tool doesn’t find anything, the lawyer will just move on to the next victim.
I would even prioritise that over doing manual testing and fixing the real issues to improve the user experience. It might not sound like a nice approach, but if you do things in the wrong order you might end up paying a scumbag lawyer $50k instead of putting that money towards fixing things.