US Congress considers bill to confirm digital accessibility is part of ADA

The US Congress will consider new legislation, the Online Accessibility Act, that would confirm that digital accessibility is included in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The bill stipulates that the ADA will specifically cover ‘consumer facing websites and mobile applications owned or operated by a private entity and to establish web accessibility compliance standards for such websites and mobile applications, and for other purposes’.

An oposing view holds that this new bill is unnecessary and complicates the process, because:

In recent years, courts across the country have recognized the ADA’s application to both websites and mobile apps. Just last year the U.S. Supreme Court in the Domino’s Pizza case refused to consider a web and mobile app accessibility case against the pizza chain. That refusal meant the Ninth Circuit appeals court opinion against Domino’s is good law.

The previous Ninth Circuit Opinion Summary of Domino’s Pizza, stated that ‘the ADA applied to Domino’s website and app because the Act mandates that places of public accommodation, like Domino’s, provide auxiliary aids and services to make visual materials available to individuals who are blind’.

At that time, October 2019, the Seyfarth Synopsis stated: ‘The Supreme Court Leaves the Ninth Circuit’s Robles v. Domino’s decision intact, dashing businesses’ hope for some relief from website accessibility lawsuits’.