Website accessibility in the hot seat

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyThe captioning firm VITAC posted an article on Sept. 26 that addresses recent issues surrounding website accessibility and how it is enforced through the ADA.

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Protecting the rights of people with disabilities is not optional

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyAn opinion piece posted Sept. 26 by the Washington Post takes issue with a bill recently advanced in Congress called the ADA Education and Reform Act, noting that it would make the ADA much harder to enforce.

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Harvard, MIT sued over lack of captioning on video courses

The Boston Globe reported on Feb. 12 that the National Association of the Deaf has filed class-action suits accusing Harvard University and MIT of violating the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act and the 1973 Rehabilitation Act by denying people who are deaf and hard of hearing access to thousands of videos and audio recordings that the universities make available free to the public. “Just as buildings without ramps bar people who use wheelchairs, online content without captions excludes individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing,” said the lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts.

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Kaplan sued under ADA

A Florida student who is deaf is suing Kaplan Educational Centers for refusing to provide an interpreter for the LSAT preparation course, according to a Sept. 18 article in the Daily Business Review based in South Florida. The student filed the suit in Fort Lauderdale, claiming Kaplan’s refusal violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.

According to the article, Kaplan offered the student access to an online LSAT course, which included captions, but the student informed Kaplan that he learns better by taking courses in person. He requested an American Sign Language interpreter and a note-taker to make the course accessible.

“NCRA strongly believes that accommodations made under the Americans with Disabilities Act should meet the needs of the person with the disability, whether that person prefers an American Sign Language interpreter or a CART (Communication Access Realtime Translations) provider or another type of assistance,” says Adam Finkel, NCRA’s Assistant Director of Government Relations.