10/01/2018

computer keyboard with one key depicting an icon of a person who is blind, walking with a long cane

At the American Foundation for the Blind, we were heartened to read that the Department of Justice confirmed clearly and unequivocally, in a September 26 letter to congressional representatives, that the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to online accommodations.

"The Department first articulated its interpretation that the ADA applies to public accommodations' websites over 20 years ago. This interpretation is consistent with the ADA's title III requirement that the goods, services, privileges, or activities provided by places of public accommodation be equally accessible to people with disabilities."—Stephen E. Boyd, Assistant Attorney General, in a September 26 letter to Congressman Ted Budd

We recommend Lainey Feingold's update, Department of Justice Confirms ADA's Coverage of Websites, where you can also find an accessible version of the full letter from the DOJ. She notes that the DOJ's letter also reminds the congressman that "the Department has consistently taken the position that the absence of a specific regulation does not serve as a basis for noncompliance with a statute's requirements."

We believe that web accessibility is a critical part of companies' obligation to provide equal access to their programs, services, and activities. We are glad to see the DOJ's confirmation of longstanding precedent that online retailers and other businesses are subject to title III of the ADA.

Because digital inclusion is so central to our mission, AFB offers consulting services to businesses that need assistance in making their websites and other digital services fully accessible and user-friendly. We look forward to working with organizations that want to maintain welcoming online environments for customers with vision loss and other disabilities. AFB Consulting's project-specific work, training, and other services enable accessibility across companies' brands and products, ensuring they meet all standards of compliance.

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