Improving Access to Commercial Websites Under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act

66 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2013  

Courtney L. Burks

University of Iowa - College of Law

Date Written: April 24, 2013

Abstract

In 1990, Congress enacted the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") — one of the most comprehensive set of antidiscrimination laws to date. Title III of the ADA requires private businesses to make reasonable efforts to ensure that disabled individuals are able to access their "place[s] of public accommodation." However, as the internet has grown more ubiquitous in Americans’ lives, there have been debates whether a commercial website is a place of public accommodation under Title III. In order to help ensure that the disabled community is not left behind as the nation’s dependence on web-based technology increases, Congress enacted the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act ("CVAA"). This Note examines conflicting interpretations of Title III, and how the CVAA may affect the ADA’s application to commercial websites. This Note concludes by arguing that a broad definition of “place of public accommodation” is in line with the history and purpose of the ADA, and federal regulations imposing uniform technical accessibility standards are needed in order to diminish the accessibility barriers to websites that fall within the scope of Title III.

Keywords: Americans with Disabilities Act, Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, Discrimination

Suggested Citation

Burks, Courtney L., Improving Access to Commercial Websites Under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (April 24, 2013). Iowa Law Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2256176

Courtney L. Burks (Contact Author)

University of Iowa - College of Law ( email )

Melrose and Byington
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States

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