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August 20, 2014 at 8:53 PM

Blind mom sues Seattle schools over website accessibility

A blind mother whose three children attend Seattle Public Schools is suing the district, saying its website and math software aren’t compatible with technology that blind people use to access the Internet.

Noel Nightingale filed the discrimination lawsuit in federal court Wednesday. She says that from 2005 until 2012, she was able to use the Seattle Public Schools website with a “screen reader,” a device that vocalizes the information on a computer screen or displays the content on a refreshable Braille display.

But in 2012, she says, changes to the website made it no longer compatible. The software that students use to complete math assignments wasn’t available either.

Nightingale says the problem hasn’t been fixed, despite repeated requests. Her lawyers say cheap, readily available programs are available to make the website compatible.

Seattle Public Schools did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment Wednesday afternoon.

Nightingale’s lawsuit is supported by the National Federation of the Blind.

Comments | More in Education | Topics: blind, Seattle Public Schools

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