NAFCU reiterates CUs' ADA concerns in meeting with DOJ
NAFCU senior staff met Thursday with the Department of Justice's (DOJ) Disability Rights Section to discuss the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the need for clear guidance and standards for website accessibility requirements under the act.
Vice President of Regulatory Compliance Brandy Bruyere, Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler and Director of Regulatory Affairs Alexander Monterrubio attended the meeting.
"We thank the Justice Department for meeting with NAFCU as we continue our work advocating for guidance on website accessibility requirements under the ADA," said Bruyere. "NAFCU and credit unions absolutely support the protections of the ADA and its aim to make sure everyone has equal access to financial services. However, these meritless and costly lawsuits targeting credit unions are not the way to go about ensuring this kind of equality and only pull much-needed resources away from these institutions."
Credit unions, banks and other entities have faced a rash of lawsuits in the past year related to website accessibility – NAFCU is aware of demand letters and litigation in at least 24 states. Two credit unions' lawsuits over ADA have been dismissed this year.
NAFCU has urged the DOJ for months to address website compliance concerns, but current ADA and DOJ regulations remain unclear on website accessibility standards. The DOJ has never promulgated regulations regarding website accessibility for public accommodations and in December withdrew previously issued advanced notices of proposed rulemakings on this subject.
NAFCU continues to engage with other stakeholders on this issue as well, including with Congress and states' attorneys general, to clarify regulatory standards for websites. Resources for dealing with the ADA issue can be found here.
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