Posted in ADA Title III, Websites

Is a website a “place” of public accommodation?

 

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The AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA) is full of unanswered questions.  One of them is:  Is a website a ”place?”

This question is important because the ADA prohibits disability discrimination in “places” of public accommodation. These include stores, business offices, sports arenas, movie theaters and other places of public congregation. This concept of “place” is why the ADA requires, in many cases, that buildings have ramps, accessible restrooms, doors of a certain width, etc.

One of the complications is that the ADA was passed in 1990, when the internet was in its infancy and lawmakers could not have anticipated how websites would become such an integral part of all our lives.  Back then, it was pretty obvious that “place” meant something physical, not something in some conceptual “cloud” somewhere.

But times have obviously changed. Is the law going to change with them?

See tne article below by  Aesha N. Khahn for some great insights into this question.

akhan@potomaclaw.com

https://mdappblog.com/2018/05/14/does-the-americans-with-disabilities-act-apply-to-company-websites/

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I am an attorney with a disability, and I co-teach a class on disability law. But because laws are just words, I would like to learn and convey more of the real world of living with a disability in the 21st Century.

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