Home > Journals > LAWREVIEW > Vol. 92 > No. 3 (2018)
Inaccessible Websites Are Discriminating Against the Blind: Why Courts, Websites, and the Blind Are Looking to the Department of Justice for Guidance
This Note argues that Title III of the ADA should extend to websites and mobile applications as “places of public accommodation” and suggests a framework to determine which accommodations should be adopted to make websites accessible to people with visual disabilities. Specifically, it calls on Congress and the DOJ to fix this hole in the law and ensure the Act protects all persons with disabilities, as it was intended to. Part I will introduce the ADA, including its legislative history and amendments, and then will describe the standards private agencies have developed to make the Internet accessible to those with visual disabilities. Part II will describe competing interpretations of “place of public accommodation” and analyze court decisions applying Title III to websites. Finally, Part III proposes that any website that qualifies as an enumerated place of public accommodation under the statute, regardless of whether or not it is associated with a physical location, must comply with the ADA. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 should serve as the basis for measuring compliance. Websites should have to comply with A, AA, or AAA standards depending on the number of services offered at their virtual locations.