The Internet Law Resource Center™ is the complete information solution for practitioners in cyberlaw. Follow the latest developments on ICANN’s gTLD program, keyword advertising, online privacy,...
April 26 — Nationwide bar preparation course provider BarBri Inc. has prevented blind law students from adequately preparing for bar exams by maintaining accessibility barriers to its website and mobile application, according to a complaint filed April 25 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
A recent law school graduate and two law students filed class claims against BarBri on behalf of all legally blind people who have taken or will take a BarBri review course. The plaintiffs seek an order requiring the company to make its course materials accessible and to compensate students who relied on BarBri's review services but found them inaccessible.
The complaint is the latest in a series of website accessibility cases filed under Title III of the Americans With Disabilities Act. More than 50 complaints have been filed since the beginning of 2015 against well-known retailers such as Target Corp. and The Home Depot Inc. for allegedly violating the rights of blind users (21 ECLR 23, 1/6/16).
BarBri has refused to modify or remove the inaccessible features of its website and app, despite receiving multiple complaints and requests to do so, the plaintiffs alleged.
Title III of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. §12182(a), prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of public accommodations.
BarBri offers an online planner, practice questions and lecture videos to help law students prepare for the bar exam. The graduate, plaintiff Claire Stanley, alleged that when studying for the February 2016 exam, BarBri's website failed to make the answer choices on its practice Multistate Bar Exam multiple choice test fully compatible with screen reading technology.
BarBri instructs students to read the “call of the question” before reading the question itself. But the website prevented Stanley from reading the answer choices first before scrolling back up to the question, she alleged. She argued she couldn't take the practice test in the manner that BarBri advised.
Stanley also alleged that BarBri failed to make its “Essay Architect” feature accessible to her screen reader and thus prevented her from receiving vital feedback on essay construction. She said BarBri also failed to include page numbers detectable by her screen reader on online lecture handouts.
BarBri's “unequal and inferior test preparation services” caused her to “score below her sighted peers and be unable to pass the bar exam,” Stanley said.
Texas Civil Rights Project represents the plaintiffs.
To contact the reporter on this story: Alexis Kramer in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joseph Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)