[Nfbnet-members-list] Seattle Times: Blind Parent Wins Battle for Access to Online Seattle School Resources
CDanielsen at nfb.org
Thu Sep 24 15:50:25 UTC 2015
Blind Parent Wins Battle for Access to Online Seattle School Resources
Originally published September 23, 2015 at 5:14
pm Updated September 23, 2015 at 6:33 pm
Seattle Public Schools will hire an accessibility
coordinator as part of a consent decree between
the district and a blind parent of a Seattle student.
By <http://www.seattletimes.com/author/paige-cornwell/>Paige Cornwell
Seattle Times staff reporter
Seattle Public Schools will make its website and
other online resources more accessible to blind
students, faculty members and parents as part of
an agreement tied to a lawsuit filed by a blind parent last year.
The Seattle School Board voted Wednesday to enter
into a consent decree to settle the lawsuit,
which alleges the districts websites and an
online math program werent accessible to those
who are blind. The lawsuit was filed by Noel
Nightingale, a blind parent of a Seattle student,
and the National Federation of the Blind.
Under the agreement, the district will make its
current websites accessible, hire an
accessibility coordinator and create a website
portal to help faculty and staff communicate
effectively with people with disabilities.
The district estimates it will cost from $665,440
to $815,400 to implement the 3½-year decree. That
includes funds to pay for an accessibility
coordinator, staff training and attorney fees.
Nightingale will receive $5,000 from the district for monetary relief.
Nightingale notified the district that its
websites werent accessible in 2012. She said she
had been able to use the website with a screen
reader, which allows websites, documents and
applications to be read aloud or displayed in
Braille on another device. Changes to the website
in 2012 made the site incompatible with the technology she used.
The district said it relayed the information to
its website provider, which didnt fix the
problem. It alleges the provider breached its
agreement by failing to provide a website
compliant with the standards outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Nightingale sued the district in August 2014,
alleging discrimination. Her lawyers said cheap,
available programs were available to make the site compatible.
The agreement to settle the case is subject to
the approval of the U.S. District Court for Western Washington.
Nightingale and the National Federation of the
Blind applauded the boards vote, which they called historic and comprehensive.
This landmark agreement with the Seattle Public
Schools should serve as a model for the nation
and should put school districts on notice that we
can no longer wait to have equal education for
blind students and to have access to information,
use of school services, and full participation in
school activities by blind faculty, personnel,
and parents, federation President Mark Riccobono said in a statement.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the NFBNet-Members-List