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More Shots Fired in the Battle for Access to Technology

Settlement Agreement between the Regents of the University of California and Disability Rights Advocates

The university entered into a settlement agreement that requires the implementation of extensive strategies regarding the provision instructional materials to students with print disabilities. Key provisions of the agreement include:

  • Adoption of Alternative Media Guidelines;
  • Stringent timeframes regarding the provision of alternative media;
  • Ongoing instructional assistance for students, as well as staff and administrators concerning request procedures and guidelines;
  • Provision of personal readers as an alternative media solution;
  • The employment of appropriate staff to ensure access;
  • Development of an online alternative media request/response tracking system;
  • Provision of resources to assist students in conducting online searches to locate accessible materials, including developing a Print Access Guide;
  • Specific provisions outlining the role of faculty including actions that must be taken should faculty fail to comply;
  • Specific provision regarding the conversion of supplemental course materials;
  • Provision of assistive technology in campus computer labs; and
  • Provision of library materials in accessible alternative formats.

South Carolina Technical College System Compliance Review

OCR concluded as a result of a proactive compliance review of the South Carolina Technical College System (SCTCS) that the websites operated by the system and two it its colleges were “not readily accessible to persons who are blind, have low vision, or have other print-related disabilities.” In addition to interviewing responsible disability services and technology staff, over 100 websites were reviewed. The ultimate conclusion was that the sites were not in compliance with Section 504 and the ADA.

The System and the State Board entered a voluntary resolution with the Department of Education. That agreement requires the System and the Board to:

  • Ensure that the System’s websites and the websites of member colleges are accessible for students with disabilities;
  • Develop a resource guide concerning web accessibility requirements;
  • Annually review the websites and monitor steps to correct accessibility problems.

The reference number for OCR’s letter of finding and the settlement agreement is No. 11-11-6002.

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