Synopsis: A class action lawsuit claims Notre Dame College website is inaccessible to the blind and visually impaired.

Colleges and universities across the United States are facing increasing risks of being sued over website accessibility issues.

The issue of website accessibility is a growing concern, as more and more people rely on websites for their everyday tasks. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires all public places and services to be accessible, and websites are no exception.

Who filed the lawsuit?

Plaintiff James Murphy claims Notre Dame’s website was not designed in a way that makes it independently usable for individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

The website’s inaccessibility has caused a great deal of difficulty for those who are unable to utilize the educational resources offered by the college. 

Why was the lawsuit filed?

The Notre Dame College has failed to make its website fully accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

Where was the lawsuit filed?

The class action lawsuit was filed in New York federal court.

What law does Notre Dame violate?

Murphy, a blind man, argues Notre Dame’s website denies individuals who are blind or visually impaired equal access to the services it offers, in an alleged violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

What does the class action state?

“Because Defendant’s website … is not equally accessible to blind and visually-impaired prospective students, it violates the ADA,” the Notre Dame College class action states.

Notre Dame’s website contains a number of access barriers which prevent it from being compatible with screen-reading software used by individuals who are blind or visually impaired to browse the internet.

“Unless websites are designed to be read by screen-reading software, blind and visually-impaired persons are unable to fully access websites, and the information, products and services contained thereon,” the class action states.

Murphy wants to represent a nationwide class and New York subclass of legally blind individuals who have attempted to access Notre Dame’s website and been denied equal access to the goods and services it offers.

In addition to allegedly violating the ADA, Murphy claims Notre Dame is in violation of New York State Human Rights Law, The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and New York City Human Rights Law.

Plaintiff is demanding a jury trial and requesting declaratory and injunctive relief along with an award of compensatory, statutory, and punitive damages for himself and all class members.

A number of colleges faced claims last year that they failed to make their websites fully accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired, including The Corporation of Mercer University, Lafayette College and Loyola University of Chicago. 


Website inaccessibility is a significant issue that affects the blind and visually impaired community, including those pursuing higher education.

The case of Notre Dame College’s inaccessible website highlights the need for educational institutions to prioritize accessibility in their digital spaces to ensure equal opportunities for all students.

By improving website accessibility, higher education institutions can promote inclusivity and enhance the learning experience for all students, regardless of their abilities.

It is crucial for educational institutions to take proactive steps towards creating accessible websites to ensure that everyone can access the information they need to succeed in their academic pursuits.

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