On Thursday, February 15, 2018, the U.S. House passed the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 also known as H.R. 620, with a vote of 225-192. Sponsors of the bill say it was written with the intent to decrease the likelihood of highly opportunistic lawyers taking advantage of business owners with ADA compliance issues.
Under the new legislation, anyone wishing to file a lawsuit against a business in a federal court regarding ADA Title III public accommodation violations must provide written notification to the business describing the obstacle impeding access. The complainant must then allow that business sixty (60) days to develop a plan to address the accessibility issue(s) as well as an additional sixty (60) to remedy the problem(s).
Civil rights organizations in opposition to the bill, see H.R. 620 as a threat to the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) and argue that it will drastically reduce business owner motivations to comply with the ADA by delaying the requirements for businesses to be accessible to the disabled. Bill advocates say that not only will it ensure the protection of people with disabilities; it will also afford business owners the opportunity to fix any ADA compliance issues before incurring the cost of a lawsuit.
While business owners see this legislation as a step in the right direction, many want to know will H.R. 620 have any impact on digital assets, as business websites have recently been deemed *public accommodations?
The answer to this question remains uncertain as the bill must now go to the Senate for approval. A significant point to remember is ADA web compliance is beneficial to all—the business, for increased traffic, thus increased revenue as well as the end user, who can now access the goods or service that a business provides.
Here at CommonAccess, we are passionate about helping the internet achieve accessibility for all through ADA web compliance.
Contact our team today to ensure your website is available to everyone.
* (See Gil v. Winn-Dixie Stores case)