Removing Barriers Blog

CUNA and Congress Urge DOJ to Issue Guidance on Website ADA Compliance
Posted October 31, 2017 by ManojBhoi

Earlier today, CUNA’s President/CEO Jim Nussle, Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan, Chief Compliance Officer Jared Ihrig, Senior Director of Advocacy & Counsel Leah Dempsey, and CUNA Mutual Sr. Consultant Joe Luedke met with senior officials at the Department of Justice requesting clarification on how credit unions’ websites should comply with requirements surrounding website accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  

During the meeting, CUNA urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) to finalize rules it put out for an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in 2010 or to provide other clarifications surrounding what is required. Specifically, the group discussed the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. 

While the ADA is important and necessary for the wellbeing of those protected by it, there is not sufficient guidance concerning how it pertains to website requirements.   Unfortunately, the lack of guidance has left credit unions and businesses open to frivolous class action litigation, which has been increasing in recent weeks. 

Prior to their meeting, a bipartisan letter signed by 61 Members of Congress, spearheaded by Representatives Swalwall (D-CA) and DeSantis (R-FL), was delivered to Attorney General Jeff Sessions in support of the DOJ addressing ambiguities in website accessibility requirements that are spurring frivolous class action litigation.  CUNA, the California Credit Union League, and the League of Southeastern Credit Unions worked very closely with Representatives Swalwall and Desantis on sending this important letter. 

Unfortunately, the DOJ never completed the rulemaking process for website accessibility and recently declared this effort “inactive.”   

CUNA appreciates the DOJ taking the time to meet on this important issue and the work done by Representatives DeSantis and Swalwall.  CUNA will continue to push the DOJ on issuing guidance on this important issue.