Website Compliance with the ADA: What’s New?On March 10, 2023 by Schnader in Publications
Lisa M. Brauner, Eric Garcia, and Gary N. Smith published an alert, “Website Compliance with the ADA: What’s New?”
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by businesses and nonprofit organizations in the “full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation by any person who owns, leases (or leases to), or operates a place of public accommodation.” Put another way, Title III of the ADA requires “places of public accommodation” to be accessible to the disabled.
The ADA was enacted, however, before the first website was launched on the internet in 1991. Organizations have struggled for years with a lack of clarity on whether their websites and mobile applications are “places of public accommodation” under the ADA and thus, need to be accessible to the disabled to comply with the law. This lack of clarity stems from the U.S. Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) failure to issue clear guidance and a split in the federal circuit courts on whether and when a website can be a “place of public accommodation.”