Statement from Kirk Adams, Ph.D., AFB President and CEO
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 4, 2022)—The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is relieved and heartened to learn that the Los Angeles Community College District has withdrawn its proposed, harmful petition to eliminate key provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. In Payan v. LACCD, blind students sued under the ADA and Section 504 because the textbooks, handouts, websites, and other technology they use at school are not accessible to them because they do not work properly with screen readers. The students proved their case, and the judge ordered LACCD to make changes to its technology.
AFB has conducted research that vividly shows that inaccessible materials and technology have a detrimental impact on the education of students who are blind. People who are blind or have low vision face significant barriers every day. The ADA and Section 504 provide people with disabilities with the essential recourse to challenge these barriers, regardless of what anyone “intended.” We stand ready to offer our support to LACCD in securing resources and implementing practical solutions to resolve the access barriers affecting its blind students.
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About the American Foundation for the Blind
The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) mobilizes leaders, advances understanding, and champions impactful policies and practices using research and data. Publisher of the Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness for over a century and counting, AFB is also proud to steward the accessible Helen Keller Archive, honoring the legacy of our most famous ambassador. AFB’s mission is to expand pathways to leadership, education, inclusive technology, and career opportunities to create a world of no limits for people who are blind, deafblind, or have low vision. To learn more, visit www.afb.org.