DOJ Prepares to Enact ADA Website Accessibility Rules That May Impact Private Sector
August 24, 2022
The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced its intent to enact website accessibility regulations affecting state and local governments under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These regulations are expected to become applicable to certain private sector businesses, as well. Companies that may be affected are advised to take action as soon as possible.
How Does the ADA Impact Websites?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires making and maintaining web content and apps that are accessible to individuals with disabilities. But according to the DOJ announcement, “many websites from public entities (i.e., state and local governments) fail to incorporate or activate features that enable users with disabilities to access the public entity’s programs, activities, services, or information online.”
What Is the DOJ Doing?
To address the issue, the DOJ announced late last month that it would amend its Title II ADA regulation—the section that applies to state and local governments—to "provide technical standards to assist public entities in complying with their existing obligations to make their websites accessible to individuals with disabilities.”
The DOJ further stated it would begin its rulemaking process to put regulations in place for public entities, with a draft scheduled to issue in April 2023. The agency will then accept public comments through June 2023.
What About Private Businesses?
It is anticipated that the regulations put forward by the DOJ for the public sector will be also be applied to certain private sector businesses subject to Title III of the ADA. These include hotels, restaurants, bars, stadiums, theaters, stores, shopping centers, salons, fitness centers, medical offices, hospitals, office buildings, law firms, and more.
How Should You Prepare?
The first step businesses should take is to determine whether your organization will be required to comply. If so, prompt action is recommended to assess your current website against current ADA standards as well as the draft amendments planned for April 2023 to ensure necessary changes are made, ideally by June 2023.
We Can Help
Maslon can help you assess requirements and ensure your organization takes the necessary steps to have and maintain web content and apps that are compliant with Title III of the ADA.