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Northwestern University to be Sued by Blind Students Over use of Google Apps

Northwestern University in the US are to be the subject of a federal complaint which was filed on Tuesday. The complaint alleges that the college discriminates against the blind due to its use of Google email and other programs.

The complaint, which was filed by the National Federation of the Blind, wants the univesity to stop using Google Apps as they are not accessible and fail to turn text on a computer screen into speech or Braille for those using peripherals to make computing more accessible.

“Each of these applications contains significant accessibility barriers,” according to the complaint, and therefore blind students “are denied the benefits of the technology that Northwestern has adopted.”

The group alleges that the use of Google’s services is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and also names New York University as another that uses the same tools.

Chris Danielsen, a spokesman for the blind federation comments “The university either needs to suspend using Google Apps until it is accessible, or if it doesn’t become accessible, do not use it.”

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