Teachers Test Prep Settlement Over Title III of ADA Violation
Teachers Test Prep (TTP) was cited for violating Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Under the complaint, TTP failed to offer their online courses and one-on-one tutoring sessions in an accessible manner for deaf and hard of hearing individuals.
On June 27, 2018, the Department of Justice reached a settlement with TTP.
TTP specializes in preparation courses for teachers to pass and obtain licensing and credentialing examinations in California. They offer both online and live courses, plus tutoring.
The plaintiff was a school counselor who was enrolled in TTP’s course for the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST). The school counselor was required by her employer to pass the exam.
The plaintiff filed a complaint against TTP for not offering closed captioning on online courses and for not accommodating one-on-one tutoring sessions. As a result, the plaintiff was not receiving equal access to education.
The Department of Justice reached a two-year agreement with TTP that requires TTP to modify courses to comply with the ADA. Under the agreement TTP must:
- Adopt ADA policies and procedures for their courses
- Provide ADA training to staff
- Caption online-only content
- Provide course modifications and auxilary aids or services when requested
- Pay plaintiff $5,000 and allow them to enroll in a subsequent course for free
Captioning and the ADA
Title III of the ADA protects individuals from discrimination by private entities like private businesses and private colleges.
Title III specifically states that “effective communication” must be provided for individuals with disabilities. In other words, they must provide equal alternatives to the information they share.
Individuals with disabilities are also entitled to full and equal enjoyment of goods, services, facilities, or accommodations in any place of public accommodation.
Organizations like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, MIT, and Harvard have all been sued for failing to caption their content.
In the MIT and Harvard lawsuit, caption quality was also addressed; the schools were sued for having “unintelligible” captioning, which does not create an equal experience.
In addition, public websites and their videos must be accessible. Both Winn-Dixie and Target have been sued for having inaccessible websites.
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