Senators Ask DOJ for Clarity on Website Accessibility Under ADA

A group of Republican senators yesterday wrote to Attorney General William Barr seeking an update on the Justice Department’s efforts to clarify compliance obligations for businesses with respect to website accessibility under Americans with Disabilities Act. The letter marks another attempt by Grassley to obtain clarity from the DOJ; last year, lawmakers wrote to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions raising concerns about a lack of existing guidance.

The senators noted that unclear direction from the DOJ has left businesses—including banks—exposed to litigation risk. “We therefore urge the Department to provide further clarity, especially given that the issue of whether the ADA applies to private websites at all—or the scope of such application—continues to be subject to conflicting judicial opinions,” they wrote. “Absent further guidance, compliance will remain a matter of increasing litigation and inconsistent outcomes.”

The American Bankers Association and the state bankers associations have long called for greater clarity on whether and how the requirements of the ADA apply to bank websites. The associations welcomed this renewed effort from lawmakers to gain additional regulatory clarity.