Student loan information to become more accessible to people with visual impairments

A photograph of a laptop computer
Student Loan Information to Become More Accessible

The U.S. Department of Education and disability advocates have reached an agreement to make student loan information more accessible to people with visual disabilities.

“It goes without saying that the inability of blind people to acquire timely information about their student loans and interact with their loan servicers can result in serious financial consequences,” said Mark Riccobono, president of the National Federation of the Blind, in a news release from October 8. “Timely and independent access to student loan websites, forms, and documents is therefore imperative, not a matter of mere convenience.”

Under the agreement, information from the DOE’s Direct Loan program must be available in alternative formats, such as Braille or large print.

The agreement was triggered by complaints from the NFB and three individuals, who were represented by attorneys from the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund and Brown Goldstein & Levy.

“Technology’s promise for people with disabilities must include a respect for their privacy, and support — not undermine — their financially responsible behavior,” DREDF Attorney Larisa Cummings said in the news release. “This settlement is a breakthrough for web access, especially independent access to required forms that people will be able to complete and submit electronically.”