The Catholic University of America



Welcome to the Americans With Disabilities Act section of our webpage.

This front page will reflect our most current information on federal disabilities law affecting educational institutions.

NAD v. Harvard, Civil Action No. 15-30023-MGM, (USDC -MA) November 2, 2016. Same result in National Association for the Deaf v. MIT.


Per the Court, in both cases the plaintiffs'  alleged disability discrimination on a theory of disparate impact and the court found the cases could proceed. In the Harvard case the court stated as follows:

Adjudicating the scope of the ADA and Section 504 is not "at the heart" of the task assigned the DOJ by Congress; while the DOJ has power to issue rules and regulations interpreting these statutes, Congress had not granted it adjudicative power over the same. Additionally, the court does not need the DOJ's technical expertise to resolve the issue at hand. Federal courts are experienced in interpreting the ADA and Section 504, and statutory interpretation is routine practice.


From the MIT case:

  NAD has filed a virtually identical claim against the President and Fellows of Harvard College ("Harvard"), alleging, as in this case, that Harvard discriminated against Plaintiffs under the ADA and Section 504 by refusing to closed caption its online content. See Nat'l Assocof the Deaf vHarvard Univet al., 15-cv-30023-MGM (filed Feb. 12, 2015). 


        Accordingly, having reviewed the pleadings, the court adopts Judge Robertson's recommendation in full for the reasons set forth in the Memorandum and Order on Defendants' Motion to Stay or Dismiss in National Association for the Deaf vHarvard University. 15-cv-30023-MGM (Dkt. No. 77).


Consent Decree In Dudley v. Miami University: Dated 10-13-16. In complaint brought by blind student, University agreed to make the following changes, among others listed in the decree. 


  • Ensure that its web content and learning management systems conform with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 AA standards;
  • meet with every student who has a disability for which he or she requires assistive technologies or curricular materials in alternate formats, and their instructors, every semester to develop an accessibility plan; and
  • Procure web technology or software that best meets various accessibility standards.