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The U.S. Department of Justice recently placed web accessibility, along with other ADA items, on its new Inactive List. What does this mean for web accessibility? More importantly, what does this mean for our clients going forward? Is web accessibility on the back burner and our clients no longer need to comply with Section 508 or WCAG 2.0? No. Does this mean they are protected from lawsuits? Nope. Does this mean they can go back to using blink tags and scrolling marquis? Definitely not.What is This Inactive List? There seems to be some question about what the Inactive List actually means. The Trump Administration’s Unified Regulatory Agenda breaks down agency regulatory actions into three different categories – for the first time. Besides Inactive, there are Active and Long-Term Lists. Active and Long-Term items have published descriptions and deadlines, while Inactive items do not. Since this is a new designation, that seems to be all anyone knows about it.What Will the Repercussions Be? Over the last several years, there has been an increase in the number of lawsuits brought over digital accessibility. In fact, 2016 saw a 37% increase in the number of lawsuits over 2015, and 2017 already has a double-digit increase over 2016. The outcomes of these lawsuits is inconsistent, leaving more questions than answers and opening the doors for even more lawsuits. High-profile cases such as National Federation of the Blind vs. Target and the recent Winn Dixie ruling have brought national attention to the importance of inclusive design for publicly-held and private companies, not just government websites. According to Attorney Lainey Feingold, the Winn Dixie ruling “is historic because it is believed that this is the very first trial in an ADA case about website accessibility against a private company, known legally as a public accommodation.” Conflicting court rulings where the plaintiff does not win, however, are also occurring. The Department of Justice regulations on web accessibility could have given companies clearer direction in how to tackle web accessibility along with a fair time frame for compliance. Now, however, they are left in the dark as to accessibility requirements, timelines, and legal standing and priority in the courts. Now don’t forget – Section 508 of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was just updated to require compliance with WCAG 2.0 AA Success Criteria, effective March 21, 2017 with a deadline of January 18, 2018. That ruling has already happened – the question on the table now is how stringently the DOJ will enforce compliance. Without a DOJ ruling to clarify web accessibility laws, it’s important to understand the reasoning behind digital accessibility and how to achieve it, not only to avoid becoming a defendant in one of the ever-increasing lawsuits, but also (and more importantly) to provide information to as wide an audience as possible. We do know that even though the DOJ isn’t ruling on web accessibility, the courts are and they will continue to do so. With the members of the baby-boomer generation aging, the number of people with disabilities is not going to decrease. People will continue to expect to use the internet for daily transactions and research. Any organizations that focus on making their sites accessible will receive brand loyalty and high customer satisfaction ratings. So whatever the fallout is from the DOJ’s inactive status, web accessibility will continue to be a priority.