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Title: St. Charles Parish School Board (PDF)
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St. Charles Parish School Board Retreat

September 19, 2017
Ms. Felicia Gomez-Walker
Superintendent, St. Charles Parish School Board
13855 River Road
Luling, Louisiana 70070
Re: OCR Complaint #06-17-1812
St. Charles Parish School Board
Dear Superintendent Gomez-Walker:
This letter is to inform you of the disposition of the above-referenced complaint filed against St.
Charles Parish School Board (District) with the U.S. Department of Education (Department),
Office for Civil Rights (OCR), on June 26, 2017, alleging discrimination on the basis of
disability. Specifically, the complaint alleged that certain of the District's web pages are not
accessible to students and adults with disabilities, including vision impairments. These include,
but are not limited to:
a. Homepage ()
b. About Our District (. us/domain/484)
c. District Calendar (
d. Special Education ()
e. Child Nutrition (https// 560)
f. Student Services/Head Start ()
g. Special Programs ()
h. Before and After Care Program ()
i. Breakfast and Lunch Menus ()
j. Adult Education (https// us/domain/ 522)
OCR is responsible for enforcing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973,
29 U.S.C. ? 794, and its implementing regulation at 34 C.F.R. Part 104, which prohibit
discrimination on the basis of disability by recipients of Federal financial assistance. OCR is
also responsible for enforcing Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C.
? 12131 et seq., and its implementing regulation at 28 C.F.R. Part 35, which prohibit
discrimination on the basis of disability by public entities. As a recipient of Federal financial
Page 2 of 4 - OCR # 06-17-1812 (St. Charles Parish School Board)
assistance and as a public entity, the District is subject to these laws. Accordingly, OCR had
jurisdiction to investigate this complaint.
Based on the complaint allegations, OCR opened an investigation of the following issue:
Whether the District discriminates against individuals with disabilities on a systemic
basis because certain of its web pages are not accessible to students and adults with
disabilities including, but not limited to, vision impairments.
Legal Authority:
Section 504 and Title II prohibit people, on the basis of disability, from being excluded from
participation in, being denied the benefits of, or otherwise being subjected to discrimination by
recipients of federal financial assistance or by public entities. 34 C.F.R. ? 104.4 and 28 C.F.R. ?
35.130. People with disabilities must have equal access to recipients' programs, services, or
activities unless doing so would fundamentally alter the nature of the programs, services, or
activities, or would impose an undue burden. 28 C.F.R. ? 35.164. Both Section 504 and Title II
prohibit affording individuals with disabilities an opportunity to participate in or benefit from
aids, benefits, and services that is unequal to the opportunity afforded others. 34 C.F.R. ?
104.4(b)(1)(ii); 28 C.F.R. ? 35.130(b)(1)(ii). Similarly, individuals with disabilities must be
provided with aids, benefits, or services that provide an equal opportunity to achieve the same
result or the same level of achievement as others. 34 C.F.R. ? 104.4(b)(2); 28 C.F.R.
? 35.130(b)(1)(iii). An individual with a disability, or a class of individuals with disabilities,
may be provided with a different or separate aid, benefit, or service only if doing so is necessary
to ensure that the aid, benefit, or service is as effective as that provided to others. 34 C.F.R.
? 104.4(b)(1)(iv); 28 C.F.R. ? 35.130(b)(1)(iv). Title II also requires public entities to take steps
to ensure that communications with people with disabilities are as effective as communications
with others, subject to the fundamental alteration and undue burden defenses. 28 C.F.R.
? 35.160(a)(1). In sum, programs, services, and activities--whether in a "brick and mortar," on-
line, or other "virtual" context--must be operated in ways that comply with Section 504 and
Title II.
Investigation To Date:
To date, OCR has investigated this complaint by reviewing information provided by the
Complainant and conducting a preliminary assessment of the accessibility of several pages from
the District's website.
The complaint alleges that the District's website is not in compliance with Section 504 and Title
II because it is inaccessible to individuals with vision disabilities, print disabilities, physical
impairments, and hearing impairments. The Complainant used website accessibility checkers
(PowerMapper and WAVE) and reported to OCR that the District's website has accessibility
issues for individuals with disabilities. She then provided OCR with a list of errors copied and
pasted from the website accessibility checker that she used.
Page 3 of 4 - OCR # 06-17-1812 (St. Charles Parish School Board)
OCR conducted a preliminary examination of the District's homepage and found possible
compliance concerns as to whether the District's website is accessible to individuals with
disabilities. For example, the District's homepage, at the time of the review, utilized text that is
too low in contrast to be easily readable by users with visual impairments and had keyboard
controls that were not visually apparent. Additionally, links were not meaningfully labelled.
Prior to the completion of OCR's investigation, the District asked to resolve this complaint
pursuant to Section 302 of OCR's Case Processing Manual (CPM). On September 19, 2017, the
District submitted the enclosed signed resolution agreement (the Agreement) to OCR. When
fully implemented, the Agreement will resolve the allegations in the complaint.
In light of the commitments the District has made in the Agreement, OCR finds that the
complaint is resolved, and OCR is closing its investigation as of the date of this letter. OCR will
monitor the District's implementation of the Agreement to ensure that the commitments made
are implemented timely and effectively. OCR may request additional information as necessary
to determine whether the District has fulfilled the terms of the Agreement and is in compliance
with Section 504 and Title II with regard to the issues raised.
If the District fails to implement the Agreement, OCR may initiate administrative enforcement or
judicial proceedings to enforce the specific terms and obligations of the Agreement. Before
initiating administrative enforcement (34 C.F.R. ?? 100.9, 100.10), or judicial proceedings to
enforce the Agreement, OCR shall give the District written notice of the alleged breach and sixty
(60) calendar days to cure the alleged breach.
This concludes OCR's investigation of the complaint and should not be interpreted to address the
District's compliance with any other regulatory provision or to address any issues other than
those addressed in this letter.
This letter sets forth OCR's determination in an individual OCR case. This letter is not a formal
statement of OCR policy and should not be relied upon, cited, or construed as such. OCR's
formal policy statements are approved by a duly authorized OCR official and made available to
the public.
Please be advised that the District may not harass, coerce, intimidate, or discriminate against any
individual because he or she has filed a complaint or participated in the complaint resolution
process. If this happens, the harmed individual may file a complaint alleging such treatment.
You may file a private suit in federal court, whether or not OCR finds a violation.
Under the Freedom of Information Act, it may be necessary to release this letter and related
correspondence and records upon request. In the event that OCR receives such a request, it will
seek to protect, to the extent provided by law, personally identifiable information, which, if
released, could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal
Page 4 of 4 - OCR # 06-17-1812 (St. Charles Parish School Board)
For questions about implementation of the Agreement, please contact Tanya Oliveira, the
attorney who will be monitoring the District's implementation of the Agreement, by e-mail at
tanya.oliveira@ or by telephone at (214) 661-9679. For questions about this letter, please
contact me at (214) 661-9648 or timothy.caum@.
Timothy D. Caum
Supervisory Attorney/Team Leader
Dallas Office
Enclosure: Signed Resolution Agreement

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