Compliance News | April 6, 2022
Ensuring web accessibility for people with disabilities is a priority for the Department of Justice. The department has released guidance on how to make websites accessible.
The guidance makes it clear that the department will use its enforcement authority to ensure website accessibility for people with disabilities.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires state and local governments, as well as businesses that are open to the public, to make their websites accessible.
Examples of businesses that are open to the public include:
State and local governments must take steps to ensure that their communications with people who have disabilities are as effective as their communications with others.
People with disabilities access electronic information online using certain tools, and a company’s or government’s online services must be able to accommodate those tools. This includes screen readers for people with a vision impairment, captions on videos for those with a hearing impairment and tools used to control navigation for those who cannot use a mouse.
The guidance, which was published on March 18, 2022, gives these examples of barriers to website accessibility:
The guidance also includes eight examples of the department’s enforcement actions.
In addition, the guidance refers to numerous resources on how to ensure accessibility of website features, which we’ve included in the text box below.
This guidance and the Department of Justice’s stated commitment to enforcing the ADA with respect to websites underscore how important it is for businesses open to the public and state and local governments to ensure that their websites are accessible. In addition, web accessibility is a significant area of litigation.
Covered entities should review their websites and, if they find any of the barriers listed above, address those issues promptly. When implementing a new website or adding modifications to an existing website, entities should always review accessibility standards to ensure that the website accommodates those with a disability.
Resources Mentioned in the Guidance
This page is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax or investment advice. You are encouraged to discuss the issues raised here with your legal, tax and other advisors before determining how the issues apply to your specific situations.
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