On July 26, 2010, the twentieth anniversary of the signing of the historic Americans with Disabilities Act, an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking addressing the obligation of public accommodations to provide websites that are accessible to individuals with disabilities was issued by the United States Department of Justice. At the time, President Obama correctly observed that these proposed rules would be “the most important updates to the ADA since its original enactment.” Yet the release date of the actual rule proposal for revising the Title III regulations of the ADA, originally scheduled for January of 2012, has been extended until sometime in 2018, eight years beyond the issuance of the original ANPRM and at least a year after the end of his administration. Having originally taken a strong stance on the importance of these regulations, it now seems like the Obama administration is wishing to wash its hands of them entirely.
As people with disabilities and organizations representing people with disabilities, we know first-hand that equal access to the internet is paramount for education, to obtain and retain employment, and for everyday tasks such as paying bills, online shopping, booking travel, etc. We will not sit idly by as the administration attempts to sideline this critical access issue, so the National Federation of the Blind has launched a petition demanding, in the strongest terms possible, that the administration issue these regulations immediately.
Upon reaching 100,000 signatures, the Obama administration is required to respond, so in addition to sharing our we the people petition via Email and your social media outlets, please personally ask 10 family members, friends, and colleagues to sign it and share it as well. A little personal contact goes a long way! 100,000 signatures is a lofty goal, but with the support of our partners in the disability community, we know we will reach that number.
We know that given the necessary tools and training, people with disabilities can reach our full potential. Join us in demanding the Obama administration release these critical regulations immediately.
Government Affairs Specialist
National Federation of the Blind
200 East Wells Street
At Jernigan Place
Baltimore, MD 21230
P: 410-659-9314 Ext. 2206