Is Your Website ADA Compliant?

Volume: 21 | Issue: 17
March 23, 2022

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has released a guidance on website accessibility and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

If you are a state or local government or you are a business that is open to the public (a place of public accommodation), you already know that Title II or Title III of the ADA requires you to ensure that people with disabilities can access and use your facilities, services and goods. What you might not realize is that this requirement may extend to your website.

The DOJ explains that:

People with disabilities navigate the web in a variety of ways. People who are blind may use screen readers, which are devices that speak the text that appears on a screen. People who are deaf or hard of hearing may use captioning. And people whose disabilities affect their ability to grasp and use a mouse may use voice recognition software to control their computers and other devices with verbal commands.

The ways that websites are designed and set up can create unnecessary barriers that make it difficult or impossible for people with disabilities to use websites, just as physical barriers like steps can prevent some people with disabilities from entering a building. These barriers on the web keep people with disabilities from accessing information and programs that businesses and state and local governments make available to the public online. But these barriers can be prevented or removed so that websites are accessible to people with disabilities.

The DOJ has made website accessibility a priority, and its new guidance discusses lawsuits it has filed against public and private organizations to enforce the ADA as to web content. The guidance further discusses types of website barriers and how to make a website accessible. It also provides resources to help governments and public accommodation businesses ensure compliance with the ADA.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Nevada, agrees that the ADA’s accessibility requirements can apply to the website and apps of a place of public accommodation. (Not all circuits agree.) If you are covered by Title II or Title III of the ADA and are located within the Ninth Circuit, we encourage you to review the DOJ’s guidance. KZA attorneys are available to help you determine whether your website is covered by the ADA. 

KZA Employer Report articles are for general information only; they are not intended and should not be construed to be legal advice. Reading or replying to such articles does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In addition, because the subject matters and applicable laws discussed in Employer Report articles are often in a state of change and not always applicable to every type of business entity or organization, readers should consult with counsel before making decisions based on the same.

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