Skip to main content
6 May 2024

Image is of a group of three people sitting around a table. Text says DOJ Final Rule: Website Accessibility Changes For Private Sector Sites.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has recently unveiled its final rule on website accessibility for state and local governments under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This development offers a glimpse into what may soon transpire for the private sector under Title III and related laws like Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Key takeaways from the DOJ’s final rule include the adoption of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), Version 2.1, Levels A and AA, as the standard for covered web content. State and local governments are granted a two-year window to ensure compliance with these standards, except for smaller entities.

Crucially, the rule establishes exceptions for certain types of web content, such as archived materials and preexisting electronic documents like PDFs and spreadsheets. Additionally, a “minimal impact” exception allows for nonconformance with WCAG standards if accessibility issues do not substantially hinder individuals with disability from accessing essential information and services.

While the regulation directly targets state and local governments, its implications extend far beyond. Legal experts anticipate its influence on private sector websites, particularly in industries like healthcare and higher education, which often receive federal funding and are thus subject to similar accessibility requirements.

As the regulatory landscape evolves, private entities should prepare for potential forthcoming requirements under Title III of the ADA. The DOJ’s action serves as a harbinger of change, signaling a heightened focus on digital accessibility across sectors.

To find out more, read the National Law Review’s article on the DOJ’s website accessible ruling.