Recent OCR Settlement and Accessibility Resources for Charters

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August 16, 2016 Recently, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) released a statement describing the investigation of 11 different educational entities and subsequent settlement of their violations of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act relating to their websites and other online programs.

OCR found that all 11 websites had images that were missing text descriptions, called "alt tags," which describe images to individuals with visual disabilities who use special software, such as screen readers. Other problems affecting the websites included:

  • content on the website could only be accessed by people who can use a computer mouse, which means that content was not available to those who are blind, many who have low-vision, and those with disabilities affecting fine motor control;
  • due to a lack of contrasting colors, some websites made text difficult or impossible for people with low vision to read; and
  • videos were not accurately captioned, so they were inaccessible to people who are deaf.

It is important that all schools, including charter schools, maintain accessible websites and online resources for the use of their students, families, and community members.

CCSA has a number of materials on the topic of technology accessibility, including a webinar hosted by a leading disability rights advocate and a former attorney in the Office of Civil Rights, as well as an informational webpage with quick and easy technology accessibility fixes, a number of which address violations found in this recent OCR investigation. For more information on CCSA's technology accessibility resources, please contact Brigette Dutra at bdutra@ccsa.org.