In a recent Statement of Regulatory Priorities, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it does not expect to publish regulations regarding website accessibility for places of public accommodation under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) until 2018. That is only eight years after the DOJ first solicited public comments for potential regulations concerning website accessibility in 2010.
As we’ve previously described, the lack of regulations concerning website accessibility for places of public accommodation leaves many unanswered questions. In the meantime, the DOJ has argued in several recent cases that places of public accommodation should ensure that their websites adhere to the WCAG 2.0, Level AA guidelines developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The DOJ also expects to issue regulations addressing website accessibility for state and federal governments under Title II of the ADA sometime in 2016.
Takeaway: The DOJ will likely not issue regulations to establish website accessibility standards for places of public accommodation under Title III of the ADA until sometime in 2018. In the meantime, the WCAG 2.0, Level AA guidelines remain the best resources available for developing an accessible website.