DOJ Proposes Website Accessibility Standards
The United States Department of Justice recently issued a proposed rule that will provide technical guidance for website accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Under the proposed rule, the DOJ is amending its ADA Title II Regulations (applicable to state and local government services) to specifically require those Title II entities to make their websites and mobile applications accessible for persons with disabilities. The proposed rule also, for the first time, includes specific DOJ mandated requirements related to website accessibility, including compliance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), Version 2.1, Levels A and AA. While this rule only applies to Title II of the ADA, it has been the DOJ’s longstanding position that websites represent places of public accommodation under Title III of the ADA which must be accessible to persons with disabilities. Accordingly, we would not be surprised to see the DOJ work to implement similar changes to its Title III ADA Regulations in the relatively near future.