- Name: Donna Hedges
- Filing date: October 12, 2020
- State of filing: New York
- Name: Weston Distance Learning, Inc.
- Website: www.westondistancelearning.com
- Industry: Educational
- Summary: Weston Distance Learning is a fully accredited distance-learning istitution with numerous certification programs.
On October 12, 2020, Donna Hedges filed a Complaint in New York Federal court against Weston Distance Learning, Inc.. Plaintiff Donna Hedges alleges that www.westondistancelearning.com is not accessible per the WCAG 2.0 accessibility standard(s).
Plaintiff alleges issues in its Complaint including the following:
- Lack of Alternative Text (“alt-text”), or a text equivalent. Alt-text is
an invisible code embedded beneath a graphical image on a website. Web accessibility requires that alt-text be coded with each picture so that screen-reading software can speak
the alt-text where a sighted user sees pictures, which includes captcha prompts. Alt-text does not change the visual presentation, but instead a text box shows when the keyboard
moves over the picture. The lack of alt-text on these graphics prevents screen readers from accurately vocalizing a description of the graphics. As a result, Defendant’s visuallyimpaired prospective students are unable to determine what is on the website, browse, or enroll in the college and take courses online;
- Empty Links That Contain No Text causing the function or purpose of the link to not be presented to the user. They can introduce confusion for keyboard and screen-reader users;
- Redundant Links where adjacent links go to the same URL address which results in additional navigation and repetition for keyboard and screen-reader users; and
- Linked Images Missing Alt-text, which causes problems if an image within a link contains no text and that image does not provide alt-text. A screen reader then has no content to present the user as to the function of the link, including information
contained in PDFs.
- Many pages on the Website also contain the same title elements.
Plaintiff asserts the following cause(s) of action in its Complaint:
- Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12181 et seq.
- New York State Human Rights Law
- New York City Human Rights Law
- New York State Civil Rights Law
- Declaratory Relief
Plaintiff seeks the following relief by way of its Complaint:
- A preliminary and permanent injunction to prohibit Defendant from violating the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12182, et seq., N.Y. Exec. Law § 296, et seq., N.Y.C. Administrative Code § 8-107, et seq., The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, § 504 et seq., and the laws of New York;
- A preliminary and permanent injunction requiring Defendant to take all the steps necessary to make its Website into full compliance with the requirements set forth in the ADA and the RA, and its implementing regulations, so that the Website is
readily accessible to and usable by blind individuals;
- A declaration that Defendant owns, maintains and/or operates its Website in a manner that discriminates against the blind and which fails to provide access for persons with disabilities as required by Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§
12182, et seq., N.Y. Exec. Law § 296, et seq., N.Y.C. Administrative Code § 8-107, et seq., The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, § 504 et seq., and the laws of New York
- An order certifying the Class and Sub-Classes under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a) & (b)(2) and/or (b)(3), appointing Plaintiff as Class Representative, and her attorneys as Class Counsel;
- Compensatory damages in an amount to be determined by proof, including all applicable statutory and punitive damages and fines, to Plaintiff and the proposed class and Sub-Classes for violations of their civil rights under New York State Human Rights Law and City Law;
- Pre- and post-judgment interest;
- An award of costs and expenses of the action together with
reasonable attorneys’ and expert fees; and
- Such other and further relief as this Court deems just and proper.