As ADA Turns 25, Places of Public Accommodation Must Consider Accessible Technology

Inside Counsel

Joshua Stein, Member of the Firm in the Labor and Employment practice and co-chair of the firm's ADA and Public Accommodations Group, in the firm’s New York office, authored an article in Inside Counsel, titled “As ADA Turns 25, Places of Public Accommodation Must Consider Accessible Technology.”

Following is an excerpt:

July 26, 2015, is the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This event will likely be celebrated with significant developments impacting the scope of coverage of Title III of the ADA. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), charged with regulating Title III, is expected to advance and finalize some regulations affecting most industries, and others focused on movie theaters, cruise lines, and possibly, healthcare facilities. Additionally, advocacy groups and plaintiffs—buoyed by these looming developments and emboldened by the 25th anniversary—may continue aggressively pursuing an expansive interpretation of Title III in structured negotiations/“cooperative” agreements and litigation.

This article focuses on two developing areas with implications for almost any entity covered by Title III. At a quick glance, these developments could seem somewhat unrelated. However, a closer look reveals that they are governed by a unifying concept—a focus on the application of Title III’s overarching civil rights provisions (e.g., “full and equal enjoyment” and “effective communication”) to developing areas currently lacking specific regulations (e.g., accessible technology) and/or requiring a nuanced context-specific and individualized analysis in their application (e.g., the provision of auxiliary aids and services).

For more information on this topic, see Mr. Stein’s Take 5 Newsletter.