FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: 
Friday, April 29, 2016
Category: 
Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

National Federation of the Blind Condemns Delay of Web Accessibility Regulations

Baltimore, Maryland (April 29, 2016): The National Federation of the Blind, the nation's leading advocate for equal access by the blind to information and technology, today condemned the announcement by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) that it will further delay issuing regulations under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and instead seek further comments from the public on what those regulations should contain. The original Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking expressing the intent to issue regulations was published on July 26, 2010. At that time, President Obama said that the regulations would be “the most important updates to the ADA since its original enactment.” This is the DOJ's second recent announcement of a delay relating to the issuance of ADA regulations on internet access.

Mark A. Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: "This deplorable announcement by the Department of Justice is another example of inexcusable foot-dragging on the issue of web accessibility, which is critical to the education, employment, and daily life of blind Americans. Delaying the equal access of the blind to American society by failing to provide clarity in technology accessibility is inconsistent with the administration’s goal of full participation by people with disabilities. This failure also puts public entities seeking clear guidance on how to meet their obligations to consumers and constituents with disabilities at a severe disadvantage, with no direction on how to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act in the provision of information and services over the internet. The questions that DOJ raises in the Supplemental Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking did not newly arise in the six years since the original Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, nor is the continuing evolution of technology an excuse for revisiting them. The National Federation of the Blind unequivocally condemns today's action and urges the administration to issue proposed rules with regard to equal access under Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act without further delay. We further urge all political and civic leaders to join with us in calling on this administration to fulfill the promise made and bring clarity to the accessibility of public information, commerce, and education in the twenty-first century. Let’s #UploadTheRegs.”