Louisiana Tech University has become the latest higher education institution to settle with the Justice Department over inaccessible course materials. The settlement is a result of the university using course materials that were inaccessible to blind students, in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).
Higher ed settlement ensures new accessibility policies
The student who initially made the complaint was not able to access required course materials, creating a barrier for educational progress in the course.
The settlement agreement will require the university to adopt new technology policies across campus, ensuring that all course content, technology, and web pages will be made accessible according to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA standards. Louisiana Tech University will also ensure ADA training is provided for faculty and staff administrators in addition to paying damages to the student who was not able to access the course materials.
In a recent statement from the Justice Department, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Eve L. Hill said “Emerging technologies, including internet-based learning platforms, are changing the way we learn, and we need to ensure that people with disabilities are not excluded or left behind.” As more and more legal issues arise from inaccessible technology and web properties, the time to address accessibility in your organization is now.