Case Profile: West Valley College

To make sure that innovative new language learning tools were accessible to disabled students, TRE Legal Practice worked with West Valley College through structured negotiations to come up with a Settlement Agreement to address and prevent such problems.

California community colleges have innovated in helping students learn new languages by combining classroom teaching with new online tools to provide immersive virtual language experiences, increasing student success and learning.

To address problems that emerged when some of these innovations were needlessly inaccessible to disabled students, TRE Legal Practice worked on behalf of two blind college students to reach an agreement with West Valley College, using an alternative to lawsuits called structured negotiations:

This negotiated settlement helps our clients get the education California makes available to everyone else, and it helps West Valley College become a leader in delivering accessible technology innovations.

As an important measure that all government purchasers should implement, the Agreement also mandates that future procurement contracts must include provisions requiring technology vendors to deliver accessible instruction technology. By mandating accessibility, West Valley College can make it clear to vendors that accessibility is the same level as all other equally critical features that a product must deliver to be a functional, usable, and effective learning tool. Vendors benefit too, since they now know up front what they must deliver to seal the deal, and they can design their products appropriately.

This collaborative agreement also helps West Valley College and its technology vendors comply with state and federal laws and regulations:

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