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Federal Rules Still Fuzzy on Website Access for Disabled, Newsday, Jennifer Sherven quoted, April 20, 2022

Posted Apr 20, 2022

Legal experts say they’ve been waiting years for specific federal standards from the Department of Justice regarding website accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  It’s an area ripe with lawsuits, as plaintiffs and disability advocates charge that certain sites have obstacles making it difficult for those with disabilities to navigate.  The DOJ, which enforces the ADA, hasn’t said when or if it might issue standards, But its recently released guidance lays out why website accessibility matters, gives examples of accessibility barriers, and points to existing industry standards including the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) as a way to achieve compliance… 

Jennifer Sherven, a partner at Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck, LLP in Woodbury, also felt the guidance was “disappointing” in that it didn’t address specific technical standards. It still leaves the door open for interpretation and litigation by stating there’s flexibility for businesses in how they comply, but “doesn’t specifically say what type of flexibility,” such as the use of a 24/7/365 telephone line to call for assistance or the use of automated add-on accessibility solution, she said. She’d also wished the DOJ addressed such topics that have drawn divergent court opinions, including differences among circuits of the U.S. Court of Appeals whether ADA standards apply to such businesses as online retailers without a physical location. Please see Read More Link 

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