The Catholic University of America



Welcome to the Americans With Disabilities Act section of our webpage.

This front page will reflect our most current information on federal disabilities law affecting educational institutions.


New York Federal Courts Allow ADA Website Accessibility Claims to Continue, August 2017, Ballard Spahr.

Gil v. Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. Case No. 1:16-cv-23020, (S.D. Fla), June 12, 2017 *

This is the first case in which a judge found that a a private website is covered by Title III of the ADA as a public accommodation. The vision impaired plaintiff was trying to fill his prescription through the online web page, but the screen reader could not interact with the page, even though plaintiff could use his screen reader for many other sites. the Winn-Dixie website had not been tested by Winn-Dixie for use with universal screen readers. 

There was no accessibility notice on the Winn Dixie website. Winn Dixie testified they were currently building an ADA policy but did not have one yet. The current website was created in 2015. They spent $7 M updating the website in 2017, but did not get to accessibility. An expert testified the issues could be fixed with simple modification of or two source codes, all set forth in the WCAG guidelines. Thousands of businesses in E-commerce use these guidelines. The fix would cost $37,000 or less. The court granted the plaintiff injunctive relief and attorney's fees.

See also Judge Finds for Plaintiff In First Public Accommodations Website Trial by Greenberg Traurig LLP  June 14, 2017

Gil v. Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., Case No. 1:16-cv-23020 (S.D. Fla) A trial judge for the U.S. District Court in Florida held that the Winn-Dixie grocery store website is a place of public accommodation under Title III of the ADA. The plaintiff's screen reader did not work with Winn-Dixie's website. The company did not have an accessiblity policy for its website. 

Access Board Final Rule, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Standards and Guidelines, 82 Fed. Reg. 5790, Jan. 18, 2017. 

This rule, effective March 20, 2017, with a compliance deadine of Jan. 18, 2018 update the standards for electronic and information technology developed, procured, maintained, or used by Federal agencies covered by section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The rule also updates guidelines for telecommunications equipment and customer premises equipment covered by Section 255 of the Communications Act of 1934. Compliance with the 255 rules in not required until the rules are adopted by the FCC. See About the ICT Refresh on the Access Board Page. 

Although these rules are applicable to the federal government, compliance with these standards will help  ensure accessibility for students if used as the baseline by colleges and universities. See New Baseline for Accessibility, Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 3, 2017.  Note some federal grant programs require compliance with this law. 

See E205.4 Accessibility Standard. Electronic content shall conform to Level A and Level AA Success Criteria and Conformance Requirements in WCAG 2.0.