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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Application to the Internet

James V. DeBergh
Legislative Attorney
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides broad nondiscrimination protection in employment, public services, public accommodations and services operated by private entities, transportation, and telecommunications for individuals with disabilities. As stated in the act, its purpose is “to provide a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities.”

However, the ADA, enacted on July 26, 1990, prior to widespread use of the Internet, does not specifically cover the Internet, and the issue of coverage has not been definitively resolved. The Supreme Court has yet to address this issue, and lower court decisions that directly discuss the ADA’s application to the Internet vary in their conclusions about coverage. On July 23, 2010, the Department of Justice issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking which would require Internet providers to ensure accessibility for persons with disabilities.

Date of Report: March 2
8, 2012
Number of Pages:
Order Number: R
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