Joint Statement Applauding Final Rule for Web Accessibility Under Title II of the ADA

WASHINGTON, April 10, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The American Council of the Blind (ACB), the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN), and the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) applaud the Biden administration for announcing a final rule requiring state and local governments to ensure that their websites and mobile applications are accessible to people with disabilities. The rule is awaiting official publication in the Federal Register.

This rule is the product of more than 14 years of advocacy and rulemaking to address these entities’ obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act. In light of the growing importance of accessing government programs and services online, we look forward to the significant positive impact this rule will have on the lives of millions of people with disabilities.

Indeed, research and stories from the disability community have shown that inaccessible websites and applications have significant consequences ranging from a loss of time, effort, and money to exclusion from education, telehealth, and employment opportunities.

To resolve these barriers, this rule will prohibit state and local governments, including utility companies and public transit providers, from discriminating on the basis of disability in their use of websites and mobile applications. It will also set a consistent standard for website accessibility.

State and local governments use websites and mobile applications to deliver timely information and services across the full spectrum of their operations. Given the widespread use of websites and mobile apps, this rule will improve access to public education, voting, benefits delivery, healthcare, employment training, public utilities, transit services, business licensing, and so much more.

Our organizations have been at the forefront of advocacy for federal regulations that ensure people with disabilities have full access to all of the opportunities of the virtual environment. Going forward, we will continue advocating for full implementation of this rule and others that expand access to the digital tools that we all rely on. Today, though, we celebrate that the Department of Justice and the Biden administration has taken this momentous step to ensure digital government services and programs are accessible to all.

Tony Stephens, Director of Communications

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