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U.S. Department of Justice Issues Update Regarding Web Accessibility Under the ADA

by Jaime Rodriguez, RDPFS Intern

On March 18, 2022, The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) issued updated guidance on web accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The update concerns how state and local governments and businesses open to the public must ensure that their websites are accessible to people with disabilities, as required under the ADA. This new guidance, issued in plain language and user-friendly explanations, helps to ensure that people without a legal or technical background can understand what is required. Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division explained that “’We have heard the calls from the public on the need for more guidance on web accessibility, particularly as our economy and society become increasingly digitized… This guidance will assist the public in understanding how to ensure that websites are accessible to people with disabilities. People with disabilities deserve to have an equal opportunity to access the services, goods, and programs provided by government and businesses, including when offered or communicated through websites.’” The DOJ, in working to advance website accessibility for people with disabilities, has recently reached settlements with businesses, including Hy-Vee, Kroger, Meijer, and Rite Aid, to guarantee that their websites are fully accessible, and to ensure that those scheduling vaccine appointments can do so independently. For the full press release from The United States Department of Justice announcing this guidance, read “Justice Department Issues Web Accessibility Guidance Under the Americans with Disabilities Act”. For the full guidance, read, U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division “Guidance on Web Accessibility and the ADA”.