Seattle Public Schools Makes Websites More Accessible

After a lawsuit, the district has hired an accessibility coordinator and worked on its website.

by Paige Cornwell, The Seattle Times / March 30, 2016 0

(TNS) — Seattle Public Schools has created a new Web portal to make district information more accessible to people with disabilities, part of what the district agreed to do last year to settle a lawsuit filed by a blind parent.

The Accessible Educational Resources Portal provides information, accessible technology and resources, and steps on how to request a review if someone is unable to access content on the site, the district announced last week. It also allows users to report issues with accessing any technology used by the district.

Every district website has a link to the portal under the title "Non-discrimination statement."

A lawsuit filed by Noel Nightingale, a blind parent of a Seattle student, alleged the district's websites and an online math program weren't accessible to those who are blind. The lawsuit was filed with the National Federation of the Blind.

Nightingale notified the district that its websites weren't accessible in 2012, after changes to the site made it incompatible with a screen reader she used. She sued two years later, alleging discrimination.

The Seattle School Board voted in September to enter into a 3 1/2  year consent decree to settle the lawsuit. The district agreed to ensure its websites are accessible, make a website portal and hire an accessibility coordinator.

Michael S. Miller, the district's new accessibility coordinator, was hired in December.

©2016 The Seattle Times, distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.