U.S. Department of Justice Delays ADA Website Regulations

Money and Credit cards laid out

Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is designed to eliminate or reduce unnecessary standards or obstacles in public accommodations provided by private entities to people with disabilities.

The regulations proposed under Title III will require financial institutions to implement changes to improve website accessibility for disabled Americans. Originally, the U.S. Department of Justice issued advance notice of proposed rulemaking in September 2010, but then delayed the rulemaking until fall 2018. Despite the delay, special-interest groups have filed lawsuits against businesses lacking online accessibility for the disabled. Existing settlement agreements with businesses related to ADA compliance indicate that financial institutions should, at a minimum, follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0.

Financial institutions will need to provide these changes to their existing websites:

  • Alternatives to text-, audio- and video-only content
  • Content flashes limited to no more than three times per second
  • Ability to resize text to at least 200 percent
  • Keyboard-only accessibility
  • Explanations of abbreviations or unusual words
  • Captions with live videos
  • Consistent use of menus, icons and buttons

Financial institutions should start planning for these changes now before the comment review period ends and rules are released. Proactive planning will help ensure vendors are more accessible and affordable when it’s time to comply with the obligations.

Contact your BKD advisor with any questions.

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