How Should the Department of Justice Determine When Websites Are Considered Accessible and Fully Compliant With the Americans with Disabilities Act?

Technology Accessibility Experts to Participate in March 1 ACM HotTopics Webinar

New York, NY, February 21, 2023 – The Association for Computing Machinery’s US Technology Policy Committee (USTPC) will host the webinar “With Liberty and Web Accessibility for All: Getting the DoJ’s Rulemaking Right ” on Wednesday, March 1 from 5:00 – 6:30 pm EST. Moderated by former ACM Technology Policy Council Chair Lorraine Kisselburgh, the panel will explore the US Department of Justice’s (DOJ) planned adoption of detailed regulations governing the design of truly accessible websites under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Registration is required but free to all.

Early last year, more than 180 disability rights organizations wrote to the Department of Justice (DOJ) noting that “we live in a society that increasingly lives and works through digital tools and online spaces. When websites and applications are inaccessible, people with disabilities cannot apply for jobs, work efficiently, attend school, access healthcare, schedule a ride, shop, find public health information, apply for public benefits, and more.” USTPC endorsed that call .

The DOJ’s Civil Rights Division is poised to act. It recently announced that public comment on proposed web accessibility rules will be invited this May. The final outcome of this process will determine what legal requirements must be met for state and local government websites to be considered accessible and fully compliant with Title II of the ADA.

In what is certain to be a spirited discussion, the ACM HotTopics webinar will explore questions such as: What should, and shouldn’t, the new rules look like? Can they be crafted to well serve both user and business interests? What assistive technologies, present and future, must they enable, and will the new rules fully meet the needs of the one in four Americans affected by some form of disability?

Panelists include:

  • Lorraine Kisselburgh (Moderator), is the immediate past Chair of ACM’s global Technology Policy Council. She is a social scientist studying the social implications of emerging technologies, including privacy, ethics, and collaboration. Among her affiliations, she currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Center for AI and Digital Policy (CAIDP) where she leads an Advanced AI Policy Seminar.
  • Tim Elder is a civil rights litigator focusing on disability discrimination cases. Prior to establishing the TRE Legal Practice in San Francisco, he was associated at Brown, Goldstein & Levy as a Disability Rights Fellow. He has helped secure injunctions against testing entities for their failure to accommodate disabled students, negotiated groundbreaking settlements with publicly traded companies, tried employment discrimination claims before juries, and argued before federal trial and appellate courts.
  • Stephanie Enyart , Chief Public Policy and Research Officer for the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), has 20 years of experience advocating for people with disabilities. After joining AFB, Stephanie launched the Public Policy and Research Institute, which conducts mixed-methods research that informs AFB’s policy advocacy.
  • Dr. Jonathan Lazar is a Professor in the College of Information Studies (iSchool) at the University of Maryland where he directs the Trace Research & Development Center and is a faculty member in the Human-Computer Interaction Lab. Lazar has authored or edited 14 books on a range of topics including accessible technology.

About the ACM US Technology Policy Committee

ACM’s US Technology Policy Committee (USTPC) serves as the focal point for ACM's interaction with all branches of the US government, the computing community, and the public on policy matters related to information technology. The Committee regularly educates and informs Congress, the Administration, and the courts about significant developments in the computing field and how those developments affect public policy in the United States.

About ACM

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world's largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting educators, researchers, and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources, and address the field's challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession's collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.

Contact: Jim Ormond

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