This article proposes that private commercial web sites are considered places of public accommodation; consequently, private Internet web sites must be accessible to people with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Part I introduces the thesis of this article. Part II sets out the historical inception of the legal rights of accessibility for people with disabilities in public and private entities. Additionally, Part II describes recent federal actions mandating accessibility of government related web sites. Part III addresses the question of whether Internet web sites are considered places of public accommodation under the ADA, including an analysis of supporting and defensive arguments. Part IV addresses the National Federation for the Blind v. America On Line class action lawsuit. Part V evaluates concerns related to the First Amendment. Finally, Part VI states the conclusion of the article summarizing significant points and advocating that private Internet web sites should be legally required to make their sites accessible to people with disabilities.
Note, The Applicability of the ADA to Private Internet Web Sites, 49 Clev. St. L. Rev. 719 (2001)