January 8, 2018
Authored by: Bryan Cave, Heather Goldman and Merrit Jones
2017 was a busy year for retailers and businesses with an online presence, as they faced a wave of demand letters and lawsuits alleging that their websites are inaccessible to the visually impaired and/or hearing impaired in violation of Title III of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (the “ADA”). As we have previously reported, courts across the country weighed in on the issue throughout the year. To bring an end to 2017, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) withdrew its proposed rulemaking for accessible websites.
In July 2010, the DOJ announced an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking related to the issuance of new regulations to cover the accessibility of websites of public accommodations. While businesses with an online presence were waiting for those regulations to be promulgated, plaintiffs began taking the issue to the courts, resulting in a patchwork of conflicting decisions. As we previously reported, in