Nicole Smith Addressed ADA Website Accessibility and Employee Evaluations at the Florida Society of Association Executives (FSAE) Tallahassee Roundtable


Association executives gathered for a roundtable discussion to with employment and laborattorney Nicole Smith on September 26. During the event, Smith offered guidance that associations and businesses can take to minimize liability in the face of increased ADA website accessibility lawsuits, as well as best practices for employee evaluations.

ADA Website Accessibility

“Due to the deluge of ADA website lawsuits that continue to grow at an exponential pace, businesses must remain vigilant,” said Nicole Smith during the presentation. She recommended businesses and associations consider the following:

  1. Consult with an attorney experienced in handling these matters in order to understand potential risks.
  2. Consider hiring a digital accessibility expert to audit and remediate your website. 
  3. At a minimum, determine what steps you can take with your own IT team to make your website more accessible. 

“These efforts may cause plaintiffs to move on to the next businesses’ website,” she said. “In the event a lawsuit is filed, you will have built a strong defense that hopefully can shut it down quickly,” she added.

Employee Evaluations

“While there are many good reasons to conduct performance evaluations, there can be many problems with traditional reviews and they often end up failing both the employer and the employee,” explained Smith.  She offered three best practices to help improve the process:  

  1. Give feedback frequently throughout the year so there are no surprises at evaluation time.
  2. Take time to prepare for evaluations.
  3. Conduct a mid-year evaluation that does not mix pay raises and performance reviews; employees are more likely to engage in more meaningful communications with the employer when money is not on the line.

About FSAE

The Florida Society of Association Executives (FSAE) fosters collaboration through networking and educational events, online communities and resources that provide professional development for all positions and career-stages. FSAE brings members together to share ideas and best practices in management, leadership, board relations, membership, marketing and event planning.

The Mission of the FSAE Roundtable Series is to provide education and information regarding current association management topics to members that live in North Florida.

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