Advocate Moves Needle on Website Accessibility

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This year, Marcie Lipsitt, a special education advocate from Michigan, has been responsible for about 500 of those complaints—and counting.

Lipsitt’s focus is on the websites of school districts and other educational institutions, which she says widely disregard the needs of users who are blind or visually impaired, or who cannot use a mouse to navigate a page. Other website problems she has spotted include videos with no captions, or text and background color combinations that are a strain for people with low vision.

Her letters have gotten results. In June, the Education Department’s office for civil rights announced that it had entered into settlement agreements over website accessibility with schools, districts, and departments of education in seven states and in Guam.

All of those complaints originated with Lipsitt, who fires off at least a couple of letters a day from her home in Franklin, 20 miles outside Detroit.

“I have nothing to lose but time and sleep,” [...]

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