Accessibility Technology

Digital Accessibility: 2015 Annual Legal Update

Presenter:  Lainey Feingold & Linda Dardarian

This is the second presentation I attended on Wednesday, March 4 at the #CSUN15 conference.  Thankfully, it’s in the same room as the 9:00 AM session, so I didn’t have to pack up my stuff and rush off to another room!  I have not attended this session in the past, as I tend to favor the more technical sessions.  However, I hear great things about this annual session, so I decided to see if the good press would bear out.  As we’re about to get started, this is truly a “standing room only” session…a good sign? Anyway, this session covers only the last 12 months.

Lainey:  Linda Dardarian could not appear because she’s covering a case of hardwood floors that have too much formaldehyde in it (!)

“Toolbox” metaphor was used liberally throughout this presentation


Slow bureaucrats or Accessibility Champions?  I say, they are accessibility champions in the realm of digital accessibility!  The law is but one tool in the accessibility champion’s toolbox.  The question at issue is really a civil rights question:  do people have the right to access digital content?

Accessibility Champions

Here’s just some of the work by the DOJ around the country:

  • National Museum of Crime & Punishment
  • Nueces County:  project civic action
  • DeKalb, IL (+3) online app accessibility
  • FL County Court records
  • FL state police
  • Peapod grocery delivery
  • Lucky stores

DOJ:  web sites have long been considered covered by the ADA.


DOJ Requires…

  • Apply to web and mobile
  • WCAG 2.0 is standard
  • Web accessibility coordinator
  • Independent consultant
  • Train all staff
  • POst a policy
  • Home page AIP (Accessibility Information Page)
  • Add to performance evaluations (this is interesting)
  • Usability Testing


  • 508 (Access Board finally issues 508 refresh)
  • Applies to purchases by the Federal government


  • Broad application of WCAG AA as standard
  • Covered electronic content [public facing +8 categories of non-public facing content]
  • Expanded interoperability reqs
  • Real time text functionality


  • Feb 27, 2015 (published in Federal Register)
  • May 28, 2015 (open for comment until)
  • Final Rule Published
  • Becomes effective +6 months after Final Rule publishing

ADA Web Regulations?

  • We just don’t know exact dates…
  • We’re waiting for Title 2 (public sector) and Title 3 (private sector) dates of publication.  They never hit these deadlines.
  • See for more info

Legal Advocacy

  • DOJ is not the only player in this space…
  • Toolbox metaphor was used liberally throughout this presentation

Watch (streaming video/education services)

  • NAD (National Association of the Deaf) & VUDU
  • NAD and Netflix
  • NAD and Apple
  • Harvard and MIT (edX open courseware)


  • Math in Seattle (online education services)
  • Student loans (department of education and loan agencies)
  • Youngstown State/University of Cincinnati (course, registration materials).  This applied to both public and private institutions!
  • LSAC (similar to SAT; testing accommodations).  As of now, they are fighting this.


  • Scribd (unlimited online books – “the Netflix of books”).  This was filed in Vermont because the Netflix case was brought there.  They tried to get the case thrown out of court.  Judge seems to understand the issues involved, so I’m hopeful…
  • HathiTrust:  the authors guild sued a collaboration of educators for conversion of materials for educational purposes.

Stay Healthy

  • Communicating print information to blind people via “talking pill bottles”
  • Caremark
  • Walgreens
  • Sutter
  • Kaiser

So much of this information is still inaccessible, including web sites, applications, and more.


  • ACB v GSA
  • Marriott case (software inaccessible to employees)
  • Homeland Security (employee not able to access online content)
  • Montgomery County (NFB handling for employee who can’t use software)

Be Prepared

Digital content is really important for emergency preparedness, and it MUST be accessible to people with disabilities.

  • New York City
  • Washington DC


  • Cardtronics:  ATM (Automatic Teller Machines)
  • NY banks (settlement with 12 New York banks)


  • SoCal Taxi case
  • Airline Kiosk case (rules don’t kick in for 10 years after case won, which was 2 years ago)


  • eBay (web 2.0 sustainability agreement)
  • RedBox case wrapped up this year


  • 9 circuit court of appeals will hear digital access cases
  • Cullen v Netflix
  • Earll v Ebay (verification process that used phone – obviously this doesn’t work for Deaf / Hard of Hearing)


  • Captioned Clips
  • Extended Waiver for ereader


Lots going on around the world, we don’t have enough time to cover that here!  We really need to have a three hour session for this…

Start and End

Phone calls and feedback from the customer.  You have to make your voice heard!

Other Sessions at CSUN, be sure to look up these sessions!

Q & A


By Paul Schantz

CSUN Director of Web & Technology Services, Student Affairs. husband, father, gamer, part time aviator, fitness enthusiast, Apple fan, and iguana wrangler.

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