Much of digital society remains largely inaccessible to persons with disabilities.
For more than a decade, the disability community has been advocating for updates to vital online services and information to people living with disabilities across the country in order to ensure they can participate fully in our increasingly digital society. The U.S. Department of Justice has proposed a policy that will update regulations under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which applies to state and local entities (including public schools and universities). The policy will govern how state and local entities are required to make web- and mobile-app-based information and services accessible to all people.
The proposed rule will update regulations under Title II of the ADA, which applies to state and local entities (including public schools and universities). The proposed rule will govern how state and local entities are required to make web- and mobile-app-based information and services accessible to all people. These changes are more critical than ever, as the increasingly digital world moves more and more online.
Democracy Forward represented the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) in submitting a comment in support of DOJ’s rule.
On October 3, 2023, AAPD filed a public comment letter in response to the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) proposed rule governing web accessibility requirements for state and local public entities. The comment applauds DOJ’s proposed rule, which has been more than a decade in the making. The comment also includes important suggestions as to how DOJ can strengthen the rule to ensure that online information and services are fully accessible to all people, including those with disabilities.
AAPD is one of the country’s leading national disability-led and cross-disability rights organizations, advocating for full civil rights for 60 million Americans with disabilities. AAPD has worked tirelessly alongside disability advocates since 1995 to advance the goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). AAPD supports DOJ’s publication of its proposed web accessibility rule, which has been more than a decade in the making.
AAPD’s comment includes suggestions on how to strengthen the proposed rule, including:
- Adopting the most updated international technical standards for web accessibility,
- Enforcing shorter compliance deadlines so people have access to critical information sooner,
- Supporting a robust federal educational and technical assistance plan to help entities get into compliance, and
- Eliminating new, complicated, and unnecessary exceptions to the rule’s requirements, relying instead on existing defenses that are available to entities struggling with compliance.