Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law


Nina Golden

First Page



No one questions whether the ADA applies to institutions of higher education. Title II applies to public colleges and universities, while Title III applies to private ones. With some exceptions, colleges and universities must make their programs and services accessible by providing reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities. What is significantly less clear, and thus the topic of dispute among courts and commentators, is whether the ADA requires colleges and universities to provide access to the Internet to students with disabilities. Much of the dispute revolves around the meaning of the term "place of public accommodation." Some courts have required that a "place" be a physical structure, while others have not. This article will argue that regardless of the ADA'S applicability to the Internet, institutions of higher education must ensure that students with disabilities have access to the Internet. Part of a school's obligation to make programs or services accessible includes providing access to the Internet to students with disabilities whenever Internet use is necessary to complete a course's requirements, conduct research, or access information about the school itself.