DOJ Issues Guidance on Web Accessibility and the ADA

April 1, 2022 BY REBECCA KLEIN

How the ADA Impacts Online Video Accessibility [Free Ebook]

On March 18, 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued guidance on web accessibility and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The announcement describes the DOJ’s guidance, which discusses various topics related to web accessibility. Topics include why accessibility matters, barriers inaccessible websites create for people with disabilities, tips on making web content accessible, when the ADA requires web content to be accessible, and other information and resources.

The DOJ’s web accessibility guidance doesn’t provide a regulation with detailed standards. Still, it does offer information about how state and local governments and businesses open to the public (Title II and Title III entities, respectively) can use existing standards, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and Section 508 Standards, to make their websites accessible under the ADA.

Additionally, the DOJ’s guidance provides state and local governments and businesses with “flexibility” in how they comply with the ADA requirements for nondiscrimination and effective communication.

Learn how the ADA impacts online video accessibility [Free Ebook]

While some consider the new guidance an exciting step forward for web accessibility, many advocates are disappointed in the DOJ, as the latest guidance provides the same recommendations as those the DOJ made in 2003.

In the new guidance, the DOJ reiterates that it has “consistently taken the position that the ADA’s requirements apply to all the goods, services, privileges, or activities offered by public accommodations, including those offered on the web.” However, the guidance is abstract on a practical level and leaves legal uncertainty around web accessibility.

Must all websites offering goods or services comply with the ADA? What does “flexibility” regarding ADA compliance mean? What options should businesses “choose” when complying with the ADA? The guidance leaves many questions unanswered.

Without clear regulations, it seems litigation will continue, and inaccessible websites for businesses and governments will persist.


How the ADA impacts online video accessibility. Download the ebook.

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