Should Netflix Be Accessible to the Deaf? Several court cases argue that disability laws that apply to public places should apply to online spaces, too.
Posted in: Digital Divide at 19/04/2015 18:36
When President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act 25 years ago this July, his hope was that the law would ensure that people with disabilities were given "independence, freedom of choice, control of their lives," and "the opportunity to blend fully and equally into the rich mosaic of the American mainstream."
It was a profound moment in legislating, described by many as the most sweeping American anti-discrimination bill to be passed since the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
One critical part of the law, known popularly as the ADA, ensures against discrimination on the basis of disability in "places of public accommodation." Many of us have seen the effects of this provision over the past 25 years: The law has led to more ramps and accessible doorways, transit areas for wheelchair users, and signs with Braille. Title III of the ADA defines a "place of public accommodation" as a place that affects commerce and falls within 12 specific categories established by the statute. These include private businesses -- such as hotels, restaurants and grocery stores -- and public institutions, like parks, schools and libraries.