[Athen] Fwd: Airline Fined $200, 000 for Separate-But-Equal Approach to Web Accessibility

Lissner, Scott lissner.2 at osu.edu
Fri Dec 28 20:49:57 PST 2018

Neither Justice nor Education have established a regulatory standard for web sites; Transportation did in 2016 (14 CFR Part 382). While this is not a higher education case it is informative. Transportation is the only agency I know of that has established a regulatory standard (WCAG 2.0 AA) that applies not to agency websites but those under its jurisdiction. Additionally the standard matches the one most often used by the Courts, The EEOC, Education and Justice.

Transportation made it clear that a separate website to address accessibility is not compliant fining reject Scandinavian Airlines System’s arguments for this approach and levying a $200,000 fine concluding an investigation that began in February of 2017.

Transportation stated in the consent decree with Scandinavian Airline System
“It is a well-established principle of disability non-discrimination law that separate or different aids, benefits or services can only be provided to individuals with disabilities when necessary to provide aids, benefits or service that are as effective as those provided to others.”

In the preamble to its rule Transportation asserts that creating a separate website for accessibility perpetuates the problem of unequal access as carriers will likely allot fewer resources than needed over time to properly maintain the second site.

Read the consent decree

L. Scott Lissner

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