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Spate of Web-Accessibility Suits Filed in New York

October 12, 2017

Eight colleges have been sued in federal court in New York in the last two weeks for having websites that, the suits claim, are inaccessible to people with disabilities, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Some of the institutions being sued include Hofstra University, Fordham University, Manhattan College and Long Island University. The suits were all filed on behalf of one plaintiff, who is blind, and said the websites were not accessible to him when he tried to find tuition information, academic calendars and locations. The institutions may be found in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Iona College, one of the defendants, through a spokesman said it “takes all matters of discrimination seriously and strives to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and appropriately. The college will continue to ensure everyone has equitable access to its facilities including its website.”

Legal action against college websites is rare, according to the Times. Of 751 lawsuits filed since January 2015 regarding web accessibility for people with disabilities, just seven were directed at academic websites. These lawsuits have more than doubled that figure.


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