This is something that came across my desk during my "forced vacation." As I have so many readers who are blind or visually impaired, I thought some of you might be interested.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)
National Federation of the Blind and
Law School Admissions Council Agree to Settlement
LSAC Will Make its Web Site Fully Accessible to the Blind
Baltimore, Maryland (April 26, 2011): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) today announced that it has settled a lawsuit with the Law School Admissions Council, Inc. (LSAC) regarding access to the LSAC Web site (www.lsac.org) by blind people. As part of the settlement, LSAC will provide full and equal access to its Web site for blind users by September 1, 2011. Changes will be made to the LSAC Web site that will allow blind users utilizing screen access technology, which converts what is on the computer screen into synthesized speech or Braille, to read and interact with it. The accessibility requirements extend to all parts of the Web site on which services or products are made available to prospective law school applicants or to LSAT and Credential Assembly Service registrants, including, but not limited to, the process of applying to law schools through lsac.org and the documents and practice tests LSAC makes available online.
Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “Access to Web sites is critical to the full and equal participation of blind people in all aspects of modern life. In this instance, access is especially critical, since without it blind people experience significant barriers to entering the legal profession. The National Federation of the Blind is pleased to have reached a settlement with the Law School Admissions Council and we look forward to working with its officials and technical staff in the coming months. It is our sincere hope that other educational entities and credentialing organizations that provide vital services over the Internet will follow LSAC’s example and take affirmative steps to provide full access to their Web sites by blind consumers.”
Deepa Goraya, a named plaintiff in the suit, said: “As someone who has gone through the law school application process and struggled to use the Law School Admission Council’s Web site, I am pleased to see that the Web site will be made fully accessible and the process of gaining admission to law school will now be easier for all blind people who are interested in entering this noble profession.”
Under the settlement, the National Federation of the Blind will perform semi-annual accessibility testing of the LSAC Web site until September 1, 2012.
The National Federation of the Blind is represented in this matter by Daniel F. Goldstein of the Baltimore firm Brown, Goldstein, and Levy; Laurence W. Paradis, Anna Levine, and Karla Gilbride of the Berkley firm Disability Rights Advocates; and Scott C. LaBarre of the Denver firm LaBarre Law Offices.