WASHINGTON—The Justice Department today announced a consent agreement with Robin Singh Educational Services, Inc., d/b/a/ TestMasters, one of the nation's largest providers of preparatory courses for the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) and other admission exams. The agreement calls for TestMasters to provide sign language interpreters and other auxiliary aids to students who need them as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). “We commend TestMasters for taking steps to ensure that people who are deaf or hard of hearing have the same opportunity as others to gain admission to colleges and graduate schools,” said Wan J. Kim, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.
The complaint and proposed consent order, simultaneously filed today in the District Court for the Central District of California, will ensure that these preparatory courses are offered in a manner accessible to people with disabilities. The agreement resolves an administrative complaint received by the Department alleging that TestMasters failed to provide a sign language interpreter and note-taker for a deaf student who relies on sign language for communication, and then retaliated by cancelling the student’s course registration after the student requested accommodations. Without admitting liability, TestMasters has agreed to re-admit the student and provide sign language interpreters and note-takers, as well as others who need them because of disability.
The proposed consent order, if adopted by the court, requires TestMasters to admit the complainant free of charge to the course of his choosing; provide auxiliary aids, with sign language interpreters and note-takers or comparable accommodations to those who need them; adopt and implement a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of disability, including formal procedures for students to request accommodations; train employees on TestMasters obligations under the ADA; and pay $20,000 in damages to the complainant and $10,000 in civil penalties.
TestMasters provides a large majority of the LSAT prep courses in California and approximately one third of those nationwide. The company also provides other college and graduate school preparatory courses. Title III of the ADA requires, among other things, that private entities offering examinations or courses related to applications, licensing, certification, or credentialing for secondary or postsecondary education, professional, or trade purposes offer them in a place and manner accessible to persons with disabilities or offer alternative accessible arrangements for such individuals. People interested in finding out more about the ADA can call the Justice Department’s toll-free Information Line at (800) 514-0301 or (800) 514-0383 (TDD), or access the ADA homepage at http://www.ada.gov.