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AAPD Praises Department of Justice For Finalizing Title II Web Accessibility Rule

by | Apr 10, 2024 | Press Release

For Immediate Release: April 10, 2024

Contact: Jess Davidson at jdavidson@aapd.com; 202-975-0960 


WASHINGTON, DC – On April 8, 2024, Attorney General Merrick Garland signed a final rule under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to ensure the accessibility of web content and mobile applications (apps) for people with disabilities called Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability; Accessibility of Web Information and Services of State and Local Government Entities. This rule provides state and local governments with new requirements to make their websites and mobile applications accessible.

“The American Association of People with Disabilities applauds the Department of Justice’s repeated efforts to enforce the ADA and improve accessibility for people with disabilities. So much of life today takes place on the web and on apps  – it is a modern public square. When disabled people are excluded from the internet, they’re deprived of full access to that aspect of American life,” said Maria Town, AAPD President and CEO. 

“For far too long, the digital divide has disproportionately impacted the disability community. We’re excluded from public activities and services like voting, filing taxes, accessing transit schedules, applying for public benefits, receiving emergency information, and more. The digital divide has become a civil rights issue. This final rule will improve the accessibility of government websites and applications so that people with disabilities can have full access to essential government information, services, and activities,” said Michael Lewis, AAPD Vice President of Policy

The rule requires that state and local government websites and mobile apps comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (“WCAG”) 2.1 guidelines; this includes accessibility requirements for videos and images. Government entities must comply with the rule within two to three years, depending on population size. Web and mobile app content created by third parties for state and local government entities must also be compliant with these guidelines. 

AAPD was relieved to see that the final rule was greatly improved from the proposed regulation released last July. As a result of the disability community and our allies’ advocacy, the Department of Justice removed two exceptions related to educational content and modified other exceptions to refine their scope. 

“This rule is a long-awaited recognition that to achieve equal participation in society, as promised by the Americans with Disabilities Act, we must address digital discrimination and inaccessibility,” remarked Town.“The improvements in the final regulation are a testament to the immense power of the disability community, and I am hopeful about the immense benefits of this rulemaking.

AAPD submitted its own comment and collected stories from the disability community about how such a regulation would change or improve their lives. While this rule marks significant progress, a similar rulemaking focused on places of public accommodation and commercial facilities, covered by Title III of the ADA, is urgently needed to ensure digital access in all aspects of American life.