NAICU Washington Update

Department of Education Provides Technical Assistance on Web Accessibility

June 05, 2018

The U.S. Department of Education is offering technical assistance to help colleges reach compliance on web accessibility issues. The Department is hosting a series of webinars, the next one will be held on June 12 at 1:00 EDT, to help colleges determine the updates they may need to make to ensure their websites and online programs are more accessible to students with disabilities.

The Department’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has received hundreds of mass-complaint filings highlighting inaccessible college and university websites over the last couple of years.  OCR investigators, however, have rejected recent filings, and have been rewriting agreements with schools on their web accessibility upgrade requirements. In April, OCR issued new rules limiting mass-filed complaints, particularly those actively sought by third parties rather than by students who have been directly affected.

As a result of these new procedures, the National Federation of the Blind, the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, and the NAACP filed a joint law suit against the Department for blocking their ability to file complaints on behalf of their members.

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