The DOJ Confirms Web Accessibility is Covered by the ADA

The DOJ Confirms Web Accessibility is Covered by the ADA
US Department of Justice DOJ Logo - on ADA Compliance
The ADA requires that businesses open to the public provide full and equal enjoyment of their goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations to people with disabilities.

The DOJ has made it clear that the relationship between ADA and web content is undeniable. Online daily living activities have steadily increased, so businesses of all sizes (under Title III) and State and Local Governments (under Title II) need to break down barriers that hinder public access to all digital assets – including websites!

The Department of Justice recently announced that regardless if a business or government institution has the flexibility to comply with all requirements under ADA, they must still legally follow these requirements that the DOJ enacted in 1990. More is needed to provide open access to physical locations. To keep pace with changing technologies, digital access must be available under the ADA.

Common Barriers to be Eliminated

The Department of Justice has identified many barriers on websites, including poor color contrast, lack of alt-text for images and videos, and missing closed captioning, making content inaccessible to those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Mouse-only navigation prevents users with fine motor skills disabilities from accessing important website features, such as selecting buttons or adding products to a shopping cart. 

While businesses can decide how to make their digital assets accessible,  programs, services, and products provided to the public must meet technical standards that ensure optimal accessibility. Businesses can refer to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and Section 508 Standards.

Prioritizing Web Accessibility

The DOJ maintains a solid position on care and concern for web accessibility practices, being outspoken on its efforts since 1996. The DOJ has issued sample cases demonstrating its commitment to accessible digital assets as it applies to the ADA, emphasizing its authority over those who do not comply with the statute’s requirements. Below are two cases illustrating how the  DOJ has prioritized accessible web content under Title III (which applies to all businesses open to the public).

Next, we will provide detail on high-profile lawsuits brought against Fortune 500 companies that failed to make their websites accessible. 


1.  U.S. Department of Justice | Office of Public Affairs

2.  Wc3 Web Accessibility Initiative | WCAG 2 Overview | Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)


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