Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) joined U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) and seven of their Senate colleagues in urging the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to provide better guidance and regulations to help state and local governments better comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act’s (ADA) accessibility requirements on their websites, mobile applications and other forms of technology. In a letter sent to Attorney General Merrick Garland, the Senators wrote:
“For people with disabilities, website accessibility and other forms of accessible [technology] are necessities—not luxuries or conveniences—that foster independence, economic self-sufficiency and active, meaningful participation in civic life. Although the Department has clearly stated that the ADA applies to such digital spaces, the lack of specific requirements or technical compliance standards incorporated in regulation has led to a widespread lack of meaningful digital accessibility for people with disabilities. It is past time for the Department to issue robust clarifications and remedy this exclusionary status quo.”
U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Ed Markey (D-MA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) also signed onto the letter to the Attorney General.
In their letter, the Senators called on DOJ to:
- Promulgate updated regulations that include clear and enforceable accessibility and usability standards that align with current requirements under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act,
- Clarify that current regulations apply to websites, online systems, mobile applications and other forms of information and communication technology (ICT), regardless of whether a covered entity also owns or operates a physical location offering the same or similar goods, services or information. This will ensure uniform and consistent implementation of the ADA across the country,
- Update existing guidance regarding accessibility of websites, online systems, mobile applications and other forms of ICT, and
- Pursue additional agreements highlighting website accessibility, as well as online systems, mobile applications and other ICT.