What is Giving Compass?
We connect donors to learning resources and ways to support community-led solutions. Learn more about us.
Giving Compass' Take:
• Marcie Lipsitt is a mother and activist that filed thousands of civil rights complaints about web accessibility for kids with disabilities. The Department of Education has resolved some cases but has also decided to close others citing ambiguous reasons under new budget cuts.
• The Department of Education closed some cases due to 'administrative burden on resources'. Is this a strong enough argument to not investigate a case that violated a student's rights?
• Read about how personalized learning plans can help students with disabilities.
Marcie Lipsitt used to enjoy checking the mail. But these days, not so much. Over the course of several years, the disability rights activist has filed thousands of federal civil rights complaints against school districts and universities across the country — all part of a personal crusade to make websites accessible for people with disabilities.
Over the course of several years, the disability rights activist has filed thousands of federal civil rights complaints against school districts and universities across the country — all part of a personal crusade to make websites accessible for people with disabilities.
Lipsitt said state education departments, prestigious universities, and large school districts — even specialty schools geared toward students who are blind or deaf — often provide sprawling websites that fail to comply with federal accessibility laws. Filing civil rights complaints en masse, she found, was an efficient tool to improve web access for people with disabilities, including those who are blind or deaf or have fine motor impairments.
Lipsitt isn’t an attorney. A professional advocate for disabled students and their families, Lipsitt followed her intuition and took on web accessibility as a voluntary side project. Often, she’s found, education institutions offer websites that run afoul of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, which prohibit disability-based discrimination. Some have websites without closed captioning on videos, for example, or web pages that cannot be navigated without a mouse.
Her track record is formidable. Since 2016, Lipsitt has filed roughly 2,400 web accessibility complaints, about 1,000 of which have resulted in signed resolution agreements between the institutions and the Education Department’s civil rights division.
Read the full article about learning disabilities by Mark Keierleber at The 74