• Department of Justice Delays Development of Title III Web Accessibility Rule Until 2018
  • November 27, 2015 | Author: Alisa N. Carr
  • Law Firm: Leech Tishman - Pittsburgh Office
  • On November 19, 2015, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) published its Statement of Regulatory Priorities advising that there will be additional delays in the long awaited promulgation of a rule, and technical standards, for web sites of public accommodations. (1)

    An Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued in 2010 first alerted the business community of the DOJ’s initiative to create, and subsequently enforce, standards for web site accessibility.(2) While the DOJ has delayed creation and publication of the rule and technical standards, ADA Title III web site litigation by private plaintiffs has significantly increased.

    The DOJ has decided to extend the time period for development of the rule, and the accompanying technical standards, to sometime during fiscal year 2018. In the meantime, there is no indication that the number of private lawsuits will abate. Many businesses, particularly those that operate e-commerce sites, will want to evaluate their web sites for accessibility and take proactive measures to avoid costly litigation. Until the DOJ acts, these businesses will continue to be hindered by the lack of technical standards and risk the implementation of different standards in 2018 than the voluntary guidelines currently published by the Worldwide Web Consortium; WCAG 2.0 AA.