Web accessibility helps students of all abilities and ages and is a crucial part of an appropriate and fair public education. Web accessibility for schools allows students to be able to understand video lectures, access course content from online sources, take online tests and quizzes, and make appropriate use of class resources. Besides the students, school website accessibility also helps the parents with disabilities who want to help their children in studies. Knowledge needs to be accessible to all, and not being ADA compliant is not an option when you are an educational institution par excellence.
Functionality Checklist for School Website Accessibility
School websites function to serve important purposes in information research and announcements as well as educational documents and support. Some school website functionality barriers include inaccessible:
- Coursework portals
- Information and documents on studying abroad
- Calendar events, updates for school events
- Post content from teachers and staff
- Staff directories
- Display up to date menus
- Student progress/grades/reports
- Online payment
- Educational resources for students and parents
- Curriculum/Behavior Policy
- Special educational needs
- Contact forms
Higher Education Website ADA Compliance Lawsuits
For prospects, parents and the community at large, one should be able to gather the information they need or a means to get in contact with someone on a school’s website. A school’s website should then also provide students plenty of valuable content such as online educational lectures, and topics of general interest, admission, videos, and images.
Users with a disability such as blindness, visual impairment, or deafness, have an even greater need to access web content due to the challenges they face when seeking information. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, businesses cannot deny persons with a disability equal access to goods and services provided by the business as they would to persons without a disability. This applies to schools as well.
Persons who are protected by the ADA can bring a civil rights action, or file a federal lawsuit against a school for their failure to design, construct, maintain, and operate their websites to be fully accessible to and independently usable. A student that is visually impaired or legally blind requires the assistance of screenreading software to read website content. In the recent wave of technological advances, assistive computer technology is an increasingly prominent part of everyday life. It allows blind and visually impaired persons to fully and independently access a variety of services.
School websites can contain thousands of access barriers that make it difficult if not impossible for persons who are blind and visually-impaired to use the business’s website. This excludes users with a disability from the full and equal participation in the growing Internet economy that is an increasingly common part of daily living.
U.S. Colleges that Received School Web Accessibility Lawsuits