Why can’t the University offer accommodations on a case by case basis rather than requiring its Websites to be accessible?
The United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) is responsible for enforcing Section 504 with respect to complaints filed against public institutions of higher education. The OCR has opined on several occasions that a public entity violates its obligations under the ADA when it simply responds to individual requests for accommodation on an ad-hoc basis. A public entity has an affirmative duty to establish a comprehensive policy in compliance with Title II in advance of any request for auxiliary aids or services. On a practical level, accessibility experts have determined that it generally takes less time and is less costly to include accessibility as a design parameter from the start, rather than attempting to “retrofit” web sites after a complaint has been filed.