Justice Department Reaches Agreement with Teachers Test Prep to Ensure Equal Access for Individuals with Disabilities
The Justice Department today reached a settlement agreement with Teachers Test Prep Inc, (TTP), to resolve allegations that it violated Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by not offering its online courses in a manner accessible to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and by not providing its one-on-one tutoring sessions in an accessible manner.
TTP offers preparation courses for licensing and credentialing examinations in California. Its services include tutoring, online classes, and live classes at locations throughout California. The Department initiated its investigation in response to a complaint that TTP’s online video courses were inaccessible to deaf individuals because they did not provide closed captions and that TTP failed to offer one-on-one online tutoring in an accessible manner. The complainant enrolled in a TTP course to prepare to take the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST), designed to test basic reading, mathematics, and writing skills. The complainant worked as a school counselor, and her employer required that she pass the CBEST as a condition of her employment. Because TTP’s course was not offered in a manner accessible to deaf individuals, the complainant was denied equal access to TTP’s test preparation services.
“Exam preparation courses should be provided in a manner that is accessible to individuals with disabilities,” said Acting Attorney General John Gore of the Civil Rights Division. “The Department of Justice will work to ensure that individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing have an equal opportunity to participate in such courses.”
The ADA mandates that a private entity that offers test preparation courses, such as TTP, provide its services in a manner accessible to individuals with disabilities. It also requires TTP to make modifications to its courses as are necessary to ensure that the courses are accessible to individuals with disabilities and to provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services, unless TTP can demonstrate that doing so would fundamentally alter the course or would result in an undue burden.
Under the two-year agreement, TTP will adopt ADA course-modification policies and procedures; provide ADA training to its staff; caption its online video content; and provide notice on its website about how to request course modifications and auxiliary aids or services, including sign language interpreters. In addition, TTP will pay the complainant $5,000 and allow the complainant to enroll in another course free of charge.
Those interested in finding out more about this settlement or the ADA may call the Justice Department’s toll-free ADA information line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TDD), or access its ADA website at www.ada.gov. ADA complaints may be filed online at http://www.ada.gov/complaint/.
NOTE: The settlement agreement can be found here.