ADA Guidance for Your Websites

The Department of Justice (DOJ) published web accessibility guidance regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  The DOJ does not provide a regulation setting out detailed standards, but has a new webpage with information about how state and local governments (entities covered by ADA Title II) and businesses open to the public (entities covered by ADA Title III) can use existing standards to make their websites accessible to people with disabilities in line with the ADA’s requirements. In the absence of a formal regulation, businesses will have flexibility in how they comply with the ADA’s general requirements of nondiscrimination and effective communication but they must comply with the ADA’s requirements.

NAR continues to recommend that real estate professionals work with their website vendors to do accessibility audits of their business websites to identify any accessibility deficiencies. Existing technical standards provide helpful guidance concerning how to ensure accessibility of website features. These include the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and the Section 508 Standards, which the federal government uses for its own websites. In the meantime, NAR will continue to advocate that the DOJ issues a regulation that provides clear standards that take into consideration the challenges for businesses that develop and maintain accessible websites.

NAR’s Window to the Law video listed below provides a brief and helpful overview of the issue.