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book icon with Title II title and apple icon on topEducational institutions are covered under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).

ADA Title II requires public entities to make accommodations to allow a person with a disability to participate in a “service, program, or activity.” Public entities also have certain requirements that they must adhere to. Here are some of the highlights of those requirements:

  • When accommodating people with disabilities, the public entity must provide access in an integrated setting, unless having a separate setting is necessary.
  • A public entity must not impose unnecessary eligibility requirements for access to services, programs, or activities.
  • Public entities must make reasonable changes to their policies and procedures to accommodate persons with disabilities.
  • Public entities may not charge individuals with disabilities for providing accessible solutions.

In addition, ADA Title II requires public entities to provide “auxiliary aids” for persons with disabilities. This includes transcripts, captioning, screen reading software, and optical readers, among many other services that help persons with disabilities. Basically, anything that falls under the umbrella of digital accessibility must be provided by the educational institution without any cost to the student, as long as it doesn’t place an undue burden on the educational institution.

On April 26, 2016, the DOJ issued a Supplemental Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SANPRM), to cover Title II.

It is important to emphasize that the rules in the SANPRM do not yet apply to educational institutions, but it is best to be aware of some of the changes that may be coming, to stay ahead of the curve. Here are some of the proposed changes to ADA Title II:

  • Integration of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0)
  • Requiring closed-captioning for live audio
  • Alternative conformance requirements, lessening the compliance burden for smaller towns and special districts
  • More well-defined criteria for the treatment of third-party content
  • Accessibility requirements for mobile apps

Want to learn more?

Don’t Fear the OCR: Digital Accessibility for Education

Our Education Account Managers walk you through things that your school should know:

  •  Common complaints that persons with disabilities may have about your website
  •  Digital accessibility laws that pertain to educational institutions
  •  What you should do when you get a complaint letter

Access the webinar resources now!