Senators Urge Obama Administration to Release Proposed Rules for Internet Access Under the Americans with Disabilities Act
Washington (December 21, 2015) – Last week, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) led a group of eight other Senators in a letter to the Obama administration calling for the prompt release of rules that would clarify and support access to information and communications technology (ICT) under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Unfortunately, because the ADA predated the information-technology revolution, the statute and its implementing regulations lack sufficient clarity on the question of ICT accessibility. This ambiguity has resulted in individuals with disabilities facing frequent and unacceptable barriers to Internet access and information and communications technology.
Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Cory A. Booker (D-N.J.), Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.), Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) also signed the letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
“Far too many entities covered by current ADA regulations are not taking appreciable actions to support ICT accessibility, exploiting the current lack of regulatory clarity,” write the Senators in the letter to OMB. “By approving publication of DOJ’s proposed ICT regulations, the Administration can demonstrate its commitment to the ADA and ensuring that individuals with disabilities are able to take full advantage of Twenty-First Century ICT.”
Dave Power, President and CEO of Perkins School for the Blind
“Perkins School for the Blind applauds the efforts of Senators Markey, Warren, Brown, Booker, Mikulski, Blumenthal, Cardin, Durbin and Franken as they urge OMB to approve publication of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking by DOJ that advances the promise of making digital resources accessible to all, including people with disabilities.”
Kim Charlson, President of American Council of the Blind
“This proposed rulemaking is a critical step forward toward allowing equal access to information such as online job applications, distance learning and online banking. It will allow Americans with disabilities to maximize opportunities to work, learn and engage in society.”
Mark A. Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind
“The National Federation of the Blind commends Senator Markey and his colleagues for sending a clear message to the White House regarding the benefits that ADA Title III regulations on web accessibility will provide to businesses and to Americans with disabilities. Equal access to websites, and the information and services that they provide, is critical to the education and employment of all Americans.”