A group of 103 lawmakers yesterday wrote to Attorney General Jeff Sessions seeking further clarity on how the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to websites. The letter came in response to numerous demand letters that banks and other businesses have received from plaintiffs’ firms asserting that websites are not accessible to speech and hearing impaired customers, as required by ADA.
While there have been several recent court decisions on the applicability of ADA to websites — notably Domino’s Pizza v. Robles, which held that requiring a company to provide an accessible website in the absence of a clear regulation would violate due process rights — the Department of Justice has delayed indefinitely plans to issue an official rule establishing website accessibility standards.
“We support the original spirit and intent of the ADA,” the lawmakers said. “However, unresolved questions about the applicability of the ADA to websites as well as the Department’s abandonment of the effort to write a rule defining website accessibility standards, has created a liability hazard that directly affects businesses in our states and the customers they serve.”