At the New York Times, Vivian Wang covers one of our regular topics around here, the wave of ADA lawsuits over website accessibility. Among the latest targets of these suits: colleges and universities.
Since January 2015, at least 751 lawsuits have been filed over the issue. The vast majority have focused on retailers and restaurants, according to a legal blog that tracks such suits.
A single plaintiff, however, has now sued eight New York-area colleges and universities, including Fordham University and Long Island University.
Some disability rights advocates, acknowledging the charges that some lawyers are just looking to cash in, have distanced themselves from the suits.
“We do not condone just filing a blizzard of lawsuits in order to get settlements. That’s not solving the underlying problem,” said Chris Danielson, public relations director for the National Federation of the Blind. His organization has pushed instead for clearer federal guidelines on web accessibility.
Relatedly, John Stossel covers Berkeley’s liability-driven removal of free public online course materials (“A third threat to free speech at University of California, Berkeley has led to more censorship than political rioters or college administrators. It’s the Americans with Disabilities Act.”). And while the vending machine case of Magee v. Coca-Cola Refreshments had raised hopes or fears in some quarters that the U.S. Supreme Court might seize on it to bring some much-needed clarity to the state of online accessibility law, the high court decided against taking the case and let stand a ruling against the blind plaintiff. [Emily Jed, Vending Times; more, Minh Vu]