An issue that has been on the radar since at least 2010 has now been placed on the back burner: In its most recent regulatory agenda, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has put on its inactive list a proposed regulation that would make websites serving the public be Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant. Under the Obama DOJ, that rule was to be issued in 2018.
The ADA requires that places of public accommodation ensure equal access to the goods and services they offer to disabled individuals. The law, enacted in 1990 before the onset of the public Internet, makes no mention of cyber access, but numerous lawsuits have challenged websites that do not offer alternative access routes for the disabled. Congress has never taken up the issue either.
Even California, one of the most progressive states in the nation, has yet to extend the ADA to websites. The most famous case involving the issue was Robles v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC, which was heard by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. That court ruled, in its words, “calling on Congress, the Attorney General, and the Department of Justice to take action to set minimum web accessibility standards for the benefit of the disabled community, those subject to Title III, and the judiciary.”