On October 7, 2016, NAR President Tom Salomone submitted a comment to the Department of Justice (the Department) regarding their May 9, 2016, proposed rulemaking under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) concerning the accessibility of Web information. While this rulemaking will result in regulations that only apply to state and local governments covered by Title II of the ADA, the Department noted that this rule will help with development of a rule for website accessibility under Title III of the ADA, which governs public accommodations, including real estate agencies and brokerages.
The comment outlines NAR’s support for clear website accessibility standards but raises numerous technical concerns with some of the proposed requirements that ignore the practical challenges members face when creating and maintaining websites. In the comment letter, NAR is also encouraging the Department to implement protections now, during the rulemaking process, for covered entities working to provide accessibility. Such protections would ensure immunity from liability under the ADA, if there is no unlawful discrimination, and allow the DOJ to focus on developing well-defined website accessibility standards for businesses. For more information, see the links below.