Web Accessibility Proposed Regulations Withdrawn

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As educators working with students who are visually impaired, we are very aware of accessibility issues, especially website accessibility. In recent years, there have been numerous, highly publicized lawsuits about school district websites and business websites that are/were not accessible. Websites are a part of digital accessibility, falling under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Since 2010, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has been working to develop specific regulations about web accessibility. However, on Dec. 26, 2017, DOJ announced that those website regulations were officially withdrawn. Also withdrawn are the proposed regulations concerning accessibility of non-fixed equipment and furniture.

From a legal standpoint, website accessibility is still a civil right; however, what constitutes "accessibility" is not clear. ADA contains a general non-discrimination mandate but does not provide clear technical standards.

Currently, the best practices for web accessibility are provided in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA. 

Meanwhile, the number of new website accessibility lawsuits continues to rise rapidly. For information about website accessibility lawsuit statistics, go to, 2017 Website Accessibility Lawsuit Recap: A Tough Year for Businesses.

For more information about DOJ's withdrawal of proposed website accessibility regulations, go to:

 

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