DOJ issues ADA website accessibility guidance

Department of Justice

In late March, the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a press release providing guidance on website accessibility under Title III of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by public accommodations and in commercial facilities. While the DOJ’s stance has not changed, the DOJ has acknowledged ADA accessibility is a new enforcement priority. This is a good time to review the new Title III accessibility guidance.

There has been recent litigation around the issue of website accessibility and the ADA. The DOJ stresses website accessibility matters because “inaccessible web content means that people with disabilities are denied equal access to information,” equating the exclusion to web content to how the steps at an entrance to a physical location may exclude people with disabilities. The guidance highlights the issues inaccessible web content may create for people with disabilities, highlighting some important information that is found on the internet. For example, voter information, health and safety resources, and mass transit schedules are some examples of important information that a person with disabilities may have potential issues accessing. Here are some examples of website accessibility barriers:

  • Poor color contrast: People with limited vision or color blindness cannot read text if there is not enough contrast between the text and background
  • Use of color alone to give information: People who are color-blind may not have access to information when that information is conveyed using only color cues because they cannot distinguish certain colors from others. Also, screen readers do not tell the user the floor of text on a screen, so a person who is blind would not be able to know that color is meant to convey certain information


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