[Athen] NFB V LACCD - Federal Court Rules in Favor of Blind Students

Mark C. Mintz mmintz at pasadena.edu
Thu Aug 22 09:46:27 PDT 2019

Is this it?


Mark Mintz
Assistive Technology Specialist
Pasadena City College
Room D208

From: athen-list <athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu> On Behalf Of Sean Keegan
Sent: Wednesday, August 21, 2019 7:01 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Athen] NFB V LACCD - Federal Court Rules in Favor of Blind Students

Hi Peter,

The NFB link you provided included the first paragraph, but did not include the information about the judgement. Several people have sent me snippets of the judgment, but no one has been able to share the actual document itself. Can you provide a link to where you found the actual judgement?


On Wed, Aug 21, 2019 at 6:10 PM Bossley, Peter A. <bossley.5 at osu.edu<mailto:bossley.5 at osu.edu>> wrote:
Many of you have probably seen this floating around but I hadn’t seen it posted here yet.

From the NFB release: https://nfb.org/about-us/press-room/federal-court-rules-favor-blind-students

“The Federal District Court for the Central District of California Found that LACCD violated the students’ rights under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation

Act of 1973 by, among other things, failing to provide them with accessible documents and course materials, failing to provide equal access to library

resources, procuring and using inaccessible educational technology, and maintaining an inaccessible website. The court specifically criticized the use

of the Pearson MyMathLab product, finding that Los Angeles Community College failed “to provide [Roy] Payan with meaningful access to his course materials

in the math classes in which Payan enrolled, either through the MyMathLab software program or via equivalent accessible assignments from a math textbook

in a timely manner.””

From my perspective, although the order leaves intact the allowance for alternative means of access, it does significantly raise the bar for that alternative from “substantially equivalent” to “prior to or at the same time sighted students are provided access”. If this signals the future of NFB advocacy efforts around digital accessibility, it will make up front accessibility all the more critical in higher education; with the 24/7 anytime nature of online technology, were this enhanced standard for alternative access to spread, it seems near impossible to meet without full native accessibility up front.

From the judgement, a few of the most salient points:

“Within one year of the date of this Order, LACCD shall evaluate LACC's integrated library system website and all library databases available to students enrolled at LACC to determine whether the library resources are fully accessible to blind students. LACCD shall either (a) discontinue the use of any inaccessible library databases, inaccessible documents contained in library databases, or other inaccessible library resources available to students enrolled at LACC or (b) establish alternative means of providing access to the equivalent benefits of the inaccessible library resources to blind students in a timely manner, i.e., prior to or at the same time sighted students are provided access to those library resources, including outside of the classroom;

Within one year of the date of this Order, LACCD shall ensure that the LACCD website, the LACC website, and all other educational or instructional websites available to students enrolled at LACC, including all educational resources or embedded programs on those websites (such as PeopleSoft) made available to LACC students, are accessible to blind students in accordance with WCAG 2.1 Level AA standards;”

[The Ohio State University]
Peter Bossley
Deputy ADA Coordinator
ADA Coordinator's Office - Office of Institutional Equity
950 Lincoln Tower, 1800 Cannon Drive, Columbus, OH 43210
614-688-3028 Office
bossley.5 at osu.edu<mailto:bossley.5 at osu.edu> / ada.osu.edu<http://ada.osu.edu/>

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