PEAT’s analysis of U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) settlement agreements provides insight into the acceptable methods that DOJ has specified to implement digital accessibility.
Updated Guidance from DOJ
In 2022, DOJ published updated guidance on web accessibility and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The ADA requires “public accommodations” to be accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. Since 1996, DOJ has asserted that such spaces are not limited to physical locations. DOJ has long affirmed that public accommodations include online access due to the critical role that the Internet and information and communication technology (ICT) play in modern life.
Until now, this information largely existed only in a series of rulings and settlements. This new guidance better helps employers and others understand the ADA’s requirements for web accessibility.
How to Comply
DOJ notes, “Businesses and state and local governments have flexibility in how they comply with the ADA’s general requirements of nondiscrimination and effective communication. But they must comply with the ADA’s requirements.”
The extensive PEAT resource “How is the Department of Justice Addressing Website and ICT Accessibility?” offers specific guidance on the acceptable methods that DOJ has specified in past settlement agreements to implement digital accessibility. These methods offer insight into how DOJ will likely enforce ADA compliance in the future.
This resource covers key areas summarized from 175 DOJ settlement agreements concerning the obligation of employers and other covered entities to make employment opportunities and related activities accessible to individuals with disabilities. It includes:
- Analysis of 175 settlement agreements related to websites, mobile apps and other forms of ICT
- A summary guide of the acceptable methods that DOJ has specified in past settlement agreements to implement website and ICT accessibility
- An overview of the technical accessibility standards discussed in past settlement agreements
Guidance on when a covered entity is not required to provide specific services
PEAT also offers several related resource guides to help organizations implement digital accessibility, including:
- Buy-IT!: This procurement guide for employers and their purchasing staff helps ensure that the ICT you buy and implement works for as many people as possible.
- Staff Training: Find detailed guidance for training employees across your organization with the accessibility knowledge they need, specific to their role.
- Telework and Accessibility: Ensure your digital communications and platforms are as accessible as possible for everyone, including people with disabilities.