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Higher Education Lawsuits

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Higher Education Litigation Timeline






UC Berkeley

Free online courses deemed inaccessible and was in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Still pending

Berkely Web Accessibility Overview


Miami State University

Discriminated on the basis of disability and  excluded qualified individuals from participating in and denying benefits of their services and activities.

Miami will make significant improvements to ensure that technologies across all of its campuses are accessible to individuals with disabilities and will pay $25,000.00 to compensate individuals with disabilities. The decree also requires reforms to Miami University's technology procurement practices. These improvements will benefit all future Miami University students with disabilities.

Consent Decree Court Documents


Harvard and M.I.T.

Violated antidiscrimination laws by failing to provide closed captioning in: online lectures, courses, podcasts and other educational materials

Still pending.

Harvard and M.I.T. Sued Over Lack of Captions


University of Phoenix

Online learning platform content was not accessible to students with disabilities and no equal opportunities were offered.

US Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights Letter

University of Phoenix Resolution Agreement


Louisiana Tech

Inaccessibility of course material

$23,543 to student and make their Web sites and course materials more accessible.

Justice Department Settles with Louisiana Tech University Over Inaccessible Course Materials


University of California, Berkeley

Timely Access to materials as well as library accessibility (print books/journals and catalog software)

Outcomes of the lawsuit include: alternative Media Services, Library accessibility capacity/procedures, timely adoption, and Campus-wide Assistive Technology Availability.

University of California, Berkeley Settlement


South Carolina Technical College System (SCTCS)

Inaccessibility of Web Sites

Came to an agreement with U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to: develop a resource guide that provides information about web accessibility requirements. Direct that the SCTCS websites be accessible to students with disabilities, annually review the system’s and colleges’ websites, and monitor steps taken to correct any accessibility problems identified.

Civil Rights Agreement Reached with South Carolina Technical College System on Accessibility of Websites to People with Disabilities


University of Montana

Inaccessibility of Web content and services (class assignments, live chat and discussion board, videos without captions, and an inaccessible registration system)

University of Montana has been given two years to get their campus complaint with accessibility laws. They also created an Office of Accessible Technology Services, agreed to impliment campus policies about accessibility and train staff/faculty/web content authors about creating accessible content. The campus will also begin reporting their policies and procedures to the Office of Civil Rights yearly.

University of Montana Reaches Agreement for Polices and Training


Florida State University

Inaccessibility of E-Learning

$150,000 settlement ($75,000 per student) and to continue its efforts to make courses accessible to all students.

Florida State University Resolves Litigation with Students


Northwestern University

Inaccessibility of Google Apps

Google agreed to make Google Apps more accessible.

Colleges Discriminate Against the Blind With Google Apps, Advocates Say


New York University

Inaccessibility of Google Apps

Google agreed to make Google Apps more accessible.

Colleges Discriminate Against the Blind With Google Apps, Advocates Say


Penn State University

Inaccessibility of Web site and course materials

The University agreed to make all electronic and information technology systems used on its campuses fully accessible to blind students, faculty, and staff.

NFB and Penn State resolve U.S. Dept. of Justice civil rights complaint


Law School Admissions Council

Inaccessibility of Web content and LSAT preparation materials

Settlement included an agreement to make Web content and services conform to WCAG 2.0 AA within 5 months.

Blind Students Sue Law Schools Over Online Applications


Arizona State, Princeton, Reed, Pace, Darden School of Business and Case Western

Inaccessibility of Kindle textbook technology

The universities agreed that they would evaluate e-book readers that were accessible to the blind if it chose to deploy them in the future.

Lawsuit over Kindle navigation by visually impaired settled


CSU San Bernadino

Violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and other state and federal laws by failing to make the programs, services, and activities they offer at CSUSB accessible to students with disabilities.

The University agreed to provide better support to Disabled students, maintain records of complaints, accommodations, and services provided, and to train staff, faculty, and Services to Students with Disabilities on how to accommodate students according to the agreement.

In addition the campus had to pay:

  • $505,000 in Attorney fees

  • $315,000 in damages

CSU San Bernadino's Settlement announcement to the campus and community


University of California, Berkeley

Inaccessibility of campus navigation, barriers for immobile students and added stress from these barriers.

Campus layout was audited, resources are now provided to students with special needs, and any accessibility issues that were identified were remediated.

Gustafson v. U.C. Berkley Settlement agreement