On February 19, 2009, the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the National Federation of the Blind of California, and a blind student law school applicant filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of Alameda County, California against the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), the non-profit entity ...
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On February 19, 2009, the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the National Federation of the Blind of California, and a blind student law school applicant filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of Alameda County, California against the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), the non-profit entity that administered the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). The plaintiffs, represented by counsel from the Disability Rights Advocates, alleged that the LSAC violated both the Disabled Persons Act (California Civil Code § 54 et seq) and the Unruh Civil Rights Act (California Civil Code § 51 et seq) by operating its website in a way that made it inaccessible to screen readers and therefore made it impossible for blind individuals to independently apply to law school.
On June 8, 2010, the plaintiffs amended their complaint to add University of California, Hastings College of Law; Thomas Jefferson School of Law; Whittier Law School; and University of Chapman School of Law as defendants as well as a new cause of action under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The plaintiffs claimed that the additional defendants discriminated against individuals with disabilities in violation of the three statutes by using LSAC's allegedly inaccessible website as a means of applying to their law schools.
On May 5 and October 12, 2010, NFB filed complaints against LSAC and multiple law schools with the Disability Rights Section of the U.S. Department of Justice alleging violation of Titles II and III of the ADA.
On April 25, 2011, the plaintiffs, and LSAC entered into a settlement agreement that the U.S. Department of Justice confirmed resolved the complaints and case against the LSAC and the various law schools. The settlement agreement, which lasts until September 1, 2014, required:
Brian Kempfer - 06/01/2014
- LSAC to redesign its website to meet WCAG 2.0, level AA non-visual requirements.
- NFB to provide beta testing and subsequent semi-annual monitoring to ensure that LSAC's website was accessible and authorized NFB to charge $300 an hour in an amount not to exceed $35,000 for its beta testing and monitoring.
- LSAC to train its employees with website duties in webpage accessibility and report on such training to NFB.
- LSAC to report any complaints about the LSAC website made by individuals using screen readers and either resolve those complaints or collaborate with NFB to resolve those complaints
- The parties to resolve disputes under the settlement by arbitration
- LSAC to pay NFB $320,000 to partially reimburse it for its reasonable attorney's fees