US Court Appears Ready to Apply ADA to Web-based Content
In a startling decision, the Massachusetts Federal District Court ruled that Netflix may be required to caption its streaming movies under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Replying to Netflix's request to dismiss a case brought by the National Association of the Deaf, in NAD's words, "Judge Ponsor stated that the fact that the ADA 'does not include web-based services as a specific example of a public accommodation is irrelevant' since such web-based services did not exist when the ADA was passed in 1990 and because 'the legislative history of the ADA makes clear that Congress intended the ADA to adapt to changes in technology.'”
The decision affirms that the ADA applies to web-only offerings. And, while the U.S. Department of Justice continues to work on regulations concerning web accessibility, the Department filed papers with the Court in the Netflix case stating, "The fact that the regulatory process is not yet complete in no way indicates that web services are not already covered by Title III" of the ADA.