CUNA raised its concerns over website compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in a letter this week to the House Judiciary Committee for its Department of Justice (DOJ) oversight hearing. CUNA has been strongly pushing for guidance in this area as credit unions are facing legal threats due to confusion over how the ADA applies to websites.
“If credit unions were approached with ways to increase access to any product or service for members with disabilities, they would take appropriate steps necessary to address those concerns,” wrote CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “However, instead they have been barraged with demand letters immediately threatening litigation brought under the ADA that targets highly technical alleged violations, based on unclear requirements for compliance.”
CUNA noted that the DOJ did not finalize regulations in 2010 that would have provided clarity in this area. This rulemaking has since been classified as “inactive.”
“If the DOJ is unable to finalize its regulation, we believe that it should provide immediate clarification that its ANPR is inapplicable and no court should rely on its content. Furthermore, through other less formal guidance than a regulation, the DOJ should go further to provide credit unions and other businesses and financial service providers with much needed clarity about their stance on this issue.
Nussle also noted CUNA’s support for a related bill, the ADA Education and Reform Act (H.R. 620), which CUNA believes would be an important step forward in addressing abusive litigation threats under the ADA.