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#adacompliance #webcompliance
July 13, 2022

Senators Markey & Schatz Working to Ensure ADA Applies to Web

In an effort to speed up progress, Senator Edward Markey has joined forces with Senator Brian Schatz and his team to encourage the Department of Justice (DOJ) to ensure Americans with disabilities are protected online. 

The DOJ is being asked to take a second look at the rules surrounding how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is applied to the internet. 

“The United States has invested billions of dollars to develop technology and provide connectivity to all parts of the country, but it is of little value to the Americans who are unable to access the online services that the rest of us so heavily rely on.” 

“When Congress enacted the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, the Internet and digital technologies were at a nascent stage. More than thirty years later, these technologies are now ubiquitous and we rely on them for daily activities—such as communicating with friends and family, conducting business, accessing government resources, and obtaining health care. New rules are necessary so that individuals with disabilities are provided equal access to the digital world.”

Senator Schatz’s letter to the DOJ has since also been signed by Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Bob Casey (D-Penn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

The letter highlights a study of the top one million websites frequently visited by American citizens. It found that the majority of these sites were inaccessible to those living with disabilities. 

In 2021, over 4,000 ADA-related cases were filed in federal and state courts, but there were hardly any verdicts because of the current DOJ regulations. 

Senator Schatz’s letter, which can also be read here, outlines how a similar rulemaking that was initiated in 2010 under the Obama administration, has still not been issued. 

Because of this, many citizens living with disabilities are still at a disadvantage when engaging with websites and online content and services. And with even more people relying on the internet to find important information and buy products and services, the lack of regulations is no longer acceptable. Urgent action is now a necessity. 


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