WASHINGTON (1/25/11)--While supporting the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) overall effort to ensure equal access by individuals with disabilities to the products and services of public accommodations, including credit unions, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) recommends that the scope of a web-access proposal be pared down. A recent DOJ advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) addresses whether to require that the websites of public accommodations—that provide products or services to the public through such websites—be accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities under the legal framework established by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In a comment letter to the agency, CUNA Assistant General Counsel Luke Martone wrote, “We believe that if a public accommodation (including credit unions) is offering a full range of online services to its customers/members through its website, it should be ADA-compliant for access to those services. “However, we believe that smaller accommodations that are simply offering a single online service, or a very limited number of services, should be afforded greater flexibility under web accessibility standards.” The CUNA letter encouraged DOJ to consider narrowing the scope of the web accessibility regulations to (non-credit union) online-only financial institutions. If DOJ applies the rule more broadly, CUNA asked the department to adopt flexible performance standards that would allow public accommodations to develop solutions capable of working effectively with their existing web frameworks. The trade group also asked that DOJ acknowledge the limited resources available to many credit unions, and allow at least 18 months from publication of the final rule for full-site compliance. The complete CUNA comment letter is available through the resource link below.