Justice Department Proposes Landmark Rule on Digital Accessibility

The proposal will clarify digital accessibility requirements for the first time in the history of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

A proposed rule to improve access to web and mobile applications for people with disabilities is underway.

The proposed rule clarifies how public entities – primarily state and local governments – can meet existing ADA obligations for digital activities. State and local governments have continued moving programs and activities online, from applying for permits to checking the status of service requests, registering vehicles, and paying taxes and fees.

In a press release from The Office of Public Affairs, Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta calls this a “historic moment for the Justice Department.”

“This proposed rule will help enshrine the right of Americans with disabilities to access critical information needed to lead safe, productive, and prosperous lives.”

The ADA already requires public-facing technology to be accessible. ADA guidelines prohibit discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all places open to the public: If you open your doors and supply goods and services physically or virtually, you must provide accommodations.

“This groundbreaking moment makes clear our commitment to eradicating the barriers faced by people with disabilities and affording equal access to online government programs and services that people around the country depend on every day,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

“We will continue to use every tool available to ensure that people with disabilities are provided full access to the digital town square.”

Read the full press release for more details on the proposal and next steps.

For more information on the Civil Rights Division, please visit the Department’s website.

For more information on the ADA, please call the Department’s toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 (TDD 800-514-0383) or visit the ADA website.

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