January 24, 2018

Nationwide bar preparation course provider BarBri Inc. will ensure its website meets government-endorsed accessibility guidelines under a settlement agreement entered Jan. 22.

The deal settles a case brought by blind law students who alleged BarBri’s online course materials weren’t compatible with screen-reading software. The case is one of many brought against well-known companies under the Americans With Disabilities Act for allegedly violating the rights of the visually impaired. Bloomberg Law data show 315 such complaints have been filed since January 2017.

BarBri agreed to update its online tools and web applications to conform with the accessibility guidelines set out by the World Wide Web Consortium, the global technical organization that develops web standards. The Department of Justice has endorsed those guidelines in the absence of regulations spelling out the duties of website operators under the ADA.

BarBri also agreed to provide web accessibility training to its development team employees and undergo an audit in 2019 to verify that it has removed all barriers to access by the blind.

“The settlement marks an important victory for blind students, who despite years of hard work and dedication, often face significant hurdles in achieving their professional and academic dreams,” Shaylyn Cochran, co-counsel for the plaintiffs and a member of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll’s Civil Rights and Employment practice, told Bloomberg Law Jan. 23.

An attorney for BarBri didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The case is  Stanley v. BarBri Inc. , N.D. Tex., No. 3:16-cv-01113, consent decree entered 1/22/18.

This article originally appeared in Bloomberg BNA.