WASHINGTON – Oct. 17, 2016 – On Oct. 7, National Association of Realtors® (NAR) President Tom Salomone submitted a comment to the Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding a rule it proposed in May concerning the accessibility of web information.
The rule DOJ proposed – under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – would apply only to state and local governments covered by Title II of the ADA. However, the DOJ said the new rule would also help it develop further rules on website accessibility under Title III of the ADA, which governs real estate agencies and brokerages that fall under the public accommodations umbrella.
In general, the rule would mandate that websites be accessible to the disabled. Broker’s websites, for example, would have to give blind and deaf visitors a way to access the real estate information.
In its comment, NAR offered support for clear website accessibility standards. However, it also raised a number of technical concerns about the change.
Specifically, NAR worries that the proposed accessibility requirements ignore the practical challenges that Realtors would face in creating and maintaining websites.
NAR also encouraged the DOJ to implement protections now, during the rulemaking process, for businesses Without protections written into the rule, Realtors working in good faith to make their websites accessible could still be liable under the ADA laws for failing to complete the task, even if there was no unlawful discrimination. The protections, NAR said, would also give the DOJ time to focus on the creation of well-defined website accessibility standards for businesses.
NAR’s letter to the DOJ is posted on NAR’s website, along with a letter sent by NAR in April.
© 2016 Florida Realtors®
Source: Florida Realtors Feed