New: NFIB White Paper on ADA and Small Business Website Compliance

Date: July 26, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 26, 2021) – The NFIB Small Business Legal Center released today a comprehensive white paper titled, “The ADA and Small Business: Website Compliance Amid a Plethora of Uncertainty.” The paper discusses the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADA’s application to websites, the lack of a definitive and consistent standard for compliance, and the impact this has on small business owners. The paper was written by NFIB Staff Attorney Rob Smith.

“When the ADA was signed into law, no one could have envisioned how the internet boom would impact small business sales,” said Karen Harned, NFIB Small Business Legal Center Executive Director. “Small businesses work hard to adapt to new technology and business practices, but the ADA in particular challenges small businesses to comply with outdated legislation. Owners are having to debate whether they forego competition in the online market due to the high compliance costs.”

President George H.W. Bush signed the ADA thirty-one years ago today after it passed with bipartisan majorities in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives. At the time, business organizations, including NFIB, warned that the Act would be detrimental for small businesses and impose substantial costs on them. Since then, the ADA has been challenging for small businesses regarding the impact on internet sales and the application of the ADA to non-physical structures and goods. Small businesses have been left without certainty over when and how the ADA applies to their websites and a clear compliance standard from the Department of Justice.

The paper is outlined in five parts:

  1. The ADA’s Text
  2. The Executive Branch: DOJ Clarifies, or Does It?
  3. The Judiciary and the ADA
  4. Congressional Inaction
  5. The Reality for Small Business

View the full paper here.

The NFIB Small Business Legal Center protects the rights of small business owners in the nation’s courts. NFIB is currently active in more than 40 cases in federal and state courts across the country and in the U.S. Supreme Court.

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