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Let’s Talk Law: Accessibility as a Civil Right (2018 AccessU Legal Update)

taught by: Lainey Feingold


This session will give participants the tools they need to understand what is happening in the digital accessibility legal space. We will review recent legal developments, foundational cases, and laws that establish accessibility as a civil right. Legal strategies used by the disability community to advance accessibility – including lawsuits, Structured Negotiation, agency complaints – will be explored.

We’ll look at legal developments in higher education, the private sector, and government. Why are there so many lawsuits and what are the courts saying about them? What can technology providers (website owners, app creators, etc.) do to (hopefully) avoid a lawsuit?

What best practices have evolved from close to two decades of legal advocacy? What can we learn from corporate leaders about going beyond compliance to truly make digital products and services accessible?

Come with your questions about the law. Be prepared to leave the session with the vocabulary to talk about the law as a tool for enhancing accessibility without fear.

Practical Skills:

  • How to talk about legal developments about accessibility in the US with a spirit of inclusion and civil rights instead of fear and conflict
  • An understanding of why the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to websites, mobile apps and other technologies, and the impact of the fact that there are no specific ADA regulations about websites
  • An overview of laws beyond the ADA that protect disabled people’s right to access technology (Section 508, state laws, etc.)
  • How to assimilate new legal developments into a civil rights framework


  • None

Presentation Materials: