ADA Applies to Web Sites/Mobile Apps, Appeals Court Rules

In a lawsuit filed against Domino's Pizza, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements are applicable to Web sites and mobile applications.

The Ninth Circuit upheld the Justice Department's longstanding position that ADA protections apply to Web sites. The court went a step further by determining the ADA also applies to mobile apps. The court did not address whether the private industry standard WCAG 2.0 constituted compliance with the statute.

The Domino's case does not address the issue of standing.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld a dismissal of a lawsuit against the Department of Labor Federal Credit Union (DOLFCU) related to Web site accessibility standards. The court determined that the plaintiff lacked standing to bring the lawsuit as he did not fall within the credit union's field of membership and could not become a member.

The Ninth Circuit did not address credit union-specific issues related to field of membership in the Domino's decision, but did determine that ADA liability does not violate the 14th Amendment, Domino's had received fair notice that its Web site and app must comply with ADA, and that while private industry standards could be an equitable remedy, the trial court will have to determine if the Web site is compliant.