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Google Apps and the National Federation of the Blind

Earlier this week, the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) asked the Department of Justice to take action against New York University and Northwestern University for adopting Google Apps for Education, a popular cloud-based application suite that NFB feels is inadequately accessible to blind students. While the complaint is directed against two specific universities, it implicates hundreds of others, and is potentially extremely disruptive to U.S. higher education. EDUCAUSE supports the aggressive and innovative efforts being made on many campuses to accommodate community members with a wide range of physical and other disabilities. In the case of Google Apps, the accommodation must come from Google, and we note reports in the press that discussions to this end have been underway for some time. We strongly encourage Google to expeditiously produce an accessible version of Google Apps.

Steve Worona
Senior Policy Director

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