Removing Barriers Blog

CUNA Meets with DOJ Civil Rights Division on ADA
Posted March 14, 2019 by Chandler Schuette

CUNA participated in a joint trade meeting with Assistant Attorney General (AAG) Eric Dreiband, head of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Civil Rights Division, and Rebecca Bond, Chief of the Disability Rights Section, to discuss the need for formal ADA website accessibility standards.  

Yesterday’s meeting included several trades from other industries, including restaurants, retail businesses, and banks.  CUNA was the only trade representing credit unions to participate in the coalition. 

During the discussion, the group informed AGG Dreiband and other senior DOJ attorneys about the wave of ADA litigation related to websites and urged the DOJ to act on creating an official standard for website accessibility under the ADA. 

CUNA recently appealed directly to newly-confirmed Attorney General William Barr to help solve the problem of frivolous ADA litigation.  These efforts are part of CUNA’s 360-degree advocacy toward finding a solution to these concerns including:

  • Joining with state leagues to file amicus briefs in defense of credit unions hit with these lawsuits, most recently in Michigan. CUNA also saw a victory in January with the dismissal of an appellate-level ADA case against a credit union;
  • Meeting on several occasions with previous Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his staff, including a roundtable in December, and following up with detailed letters describing the issue and potential solutions;
  • Coordinating with state leagues on a letter to Sessions from 19 state attorneys general to the DOJ expressing the need for a solution; and
  • Engaging with both chambers of Congress, resulting in letters to Sessions from 103 members of Congress, and another from six Senators. This engagement also resulted in language calling for clarity in the recent government funding bill signed by President Donald Trump.