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Archive for the "Section 1557 of the ACA" Topic

2016 Legal Landscape Update: Year In Review

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In 2016, the number of lawsuits for digital accessibility increased dramatically. With the court cases and settlements of previous years, the message was loud and clear: the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applied to digital accessibility and the Department of Justice (DOJ) was going to be enforce digital accessibility. Lawsuits For those cases that made it to court, the prevailing question was whether an Internet site could be considered a “place of public accommodation,” a requirement under the ADA. Courts seemed split on this issue; some courts ruled that a website was subject to the digital accessibility standards implied in… Read More

2016 Legal Landscape Update: Healthcare

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Overview In 2016, we saw an uptick in lawsuits related to digital accessibility across a growing number of industries, with most of the cases settling out of court. The healthcare sector was no exception, emphasizing the fact that every person, including those with disabilities affecting their ability to access digital services, must have equal access to healthcare. Accessibility Under the Affordable Care Act On May 18, a final rule for Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was published in the Federal Register. Section 1557 prohibits discrimination on the basis of a variety of classifications, including disability, and works in conjunction with… Read More

FCC Accessible Communications Regulations – Legal Update Webinar Q & A

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In Tuesday’s webinar, Maria Browne from Davis Wright Tremaine outlined the requirements of the 21st Century Communications & Video Accessibility Act (CVAA), the Communications Act, and their impact on accessibility. This post contains Maria’s responses to audience questions posed during and after the presentation. Webinar Q & A Q: Does the Netflix lawsuit apply only to Netflix-created content or to all content Netflix hosts/shows? //MB: Plaintiffs alleged that Netflix violated Title III of the ADA by failing to provide equal access to its on-demand video streaming website, “Watch Instantly.”  Plaintiffs alleged that Netflix provided closed captioning for only a small percentage of the titles available on its website, and… Read More

Accessibility Legislation in the Healthcare Industry: Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act

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Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. Section 1557 is not intended to stand alone but works in conjunction with other Federal anti-discrimination and civil rights legislation. Specifically, the law reiterates the prohibitions for discrimination already present in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. To that extent, it can be argued that everything covered under Section 1557 is already covered under current laws. We did an extensive series about Section 1557 in late 2016, which… Read More

The Impact of Trump’s Executive Order on Web Accessibility

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On January 30, President Trump signed an executive order to curtail regulations and the cost associated with them. One of the notable provisions in the executive order mandates “for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination.” The executive order will have significant impact on digital accessibility. As a recent post on Seyfarth Shaw’s ADA Title III blog points out, new Department of Justice (DOJ) regulations for public accommodation websites, originally anticipated for 2018, will likely be stalled. We concur with Seyfarth Shaw’s assessment that the lack of clear guidelines for public accommodation websites… Read More

What Will a Trump Presidency Mean for Digital Accessibility?

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In the wake of Donald Trump’s election to the presidency, many are wondering how the new administration will affect the digital accessibility space. In the short term, we see it as unlikely that a Trump presidency will have a major impact on the status quo. The Americans with Disabilities Act Donald Trump has never specifically addressed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), so it is difficult to predict what his stance would be. In the past, scaling back rights for people with disabilities has proven to be politically unpopular. Given that neither advancing nor curtailing the ADA is among Trump’s… Read More

Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act – Privacy Considerations

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This is the fifth and final article in a five-part series on accessibility and the Affordable Care Act. Please click here for parts one, two, three and four.  In responding to the most recent draft of the Section 1557 regulations, a variety of commenters noted that there were many accessibility issues associated with covered programs and services that also touched on patient confidentiality and privacy. For example: A blind patient is asked to complete required new patient documentation for their doctor. That documentation is inaccessible. Visual assistance is provided by a third party (nurse, friend, administrator) who helps the patient complete the forms. When… Read More

Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act – Technical Standards

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This is the fourth article in a five-part series on accessibility and the Affordable Care Act. Please click here for parts one, two, three and five.  The Section 1557 regulations do not require conformance to a specific standard such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 AA requirements. HHS contemplated doing so in the creation of the regulation but “OCR has decided not to adopt specific accessibility standards at this time” (81 FR 31426). While the HHS does not require conformance to a particular set of standards, the office “strongly encourages covered entities that offer health programs and activities through electronic and information technology to… Read More

Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act – Systems Covered

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This is the third article in a five-part series on accessibility and the Affordable Care Act. Please click here for parts one, two, four and five.  Section 1557 requires covered entities to make all health programs and activities provided through electronic and information technology accessible. This requirement is wide ranging and broadly relates to any aspects of the health care program or service provided in a digital form. This would include: Access to an online appointment system Accessible electronic billing and statements Comparison of health plans offered through a health insurance marketplace Information on the specific plan and benefits provided It is important to note that OCR… Read More

Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act – Implementing Accessibility Regulations

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This is the second article in a five-part series on accessibility and the Affordable Care Act. Please click here for parts one, three, four and five.  The section “Accessibility of electronic and information technology” (45 CFR § 92.204) contains the implementing regulations for Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. The rule provides for broad protection for individuals with disabilities and requires covered entities to make all programs and activities provided through digital channels to be accessible. The first requirement—paragraph (a)—defines the core of the regulation which requires that “health programs or activities provided through electronic and information technology are accessible to individuals with disabilities.” Paragraph (b)… Read More

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