New ADA regulations in 2023 likely to affect municipal websites

In August 2022, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that new web accessibility regulations in Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are in the works. The most specific guidance available to date regarding website accessibility has been in the form of non-mandatory guidelines, but the DOJ has now stated that in April 2023 it will release draft regulations for public comment. The purpose of Title II of the ADA is to prevent state and local governments from discriminating against disabled individuals based on their disabled status. In the context of web access, the concern is whether a government entity’s website utilizes features that provide a user-friendly experience for disabled persons (e.g., text-to-speech reading for the vision impaired). As the topic of web accessibility compliance law continues to gain traction, municipalities may want to evaluate the extent to which their own websites are accessible by disabled users and consider what improvements can be made.

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