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Bar Prep Accessibility

We reached out to leading bar prep companies and gathered input from attorneys and bar candidates to prepare this accessibility guide. The chart below provides a quick comparison guide. Keep scrolling for more detailed information.


Why are we doing this? Glad you asked. There are two reasons:


(1) To help bar candidates assess what company and course format will best serve their learning style and access needs.
(2) To encourage bar prep companies to provide equal access to disabled customers.


Disabled customers pay good money for these courses and deserve an equal user experience. Equal access includes:


• Activating accessibility features without requiring lengthy request forms and private medical information.
• Accurate and well-synced lecture captions available to all users.
• Availability of all course materials in formats accessible to deaf, hard of hearing, blind, and vision-impaired customers.


Several leading companies require customers to submit medical information so that the company can decide what accessibility features they deserve. That is backwards. The company should provide information to customers on course format and materials so that the customer can tell the company what accessibility modifications they require. Disabled people are the experts on their own educational access needs, especially coming off of three years of law school.


This is a living document, and we strive to keep it as up-to-date and comprehensive as possible. If you would like to offer further input or feedback on these or other companies, please e-mail us at info@ndlsa.org.

CompanyLecturesAccommodationsCaptionsMaterial FormatsScreen Reader Compatibility
Themis Themis's video lectures are 5 to 20 minutes long.Themis requires a request form and supporting documentation for most accessibility modifications.Captions available to all users for most courses. The captions are mostly, but not entirely, accurate.Several coursebooks (six for the UBE course), with all material also available to all users in PDF format.Compatible with commonly-used screen readers.
Barbri Barbri’s online/on demand lectures are recorded in 15 – 30 minutes modules; classroom lectures and live broadcast are a total of 3-4 hours but feature regular assessments and breaks during the lecture.Barbri requires a request form and supporting documentation for most accessibility modifications.Some caption access requires accommodations, Barbri provides CC on all online/on-demand lectures, no accommodations requests necessary. Captions are often highly inaccurate. All Barbri lectures come with filled-in handouts and fillable PDFs online; Barbri provides printed written materials and an online digital library for all materials in the course.Barbri has partnered with Usablenet to ensure their site meets WCAG 2.0 AA standards.
KaplanLive and pre-recorded course options.Kaplan requires a lengthy request form for most accessibility modifications. Some captions are only available by request. Captions are highly inaccurate.Some written materials are available for download only through accessibility team.Kaplan told NDLSA that its materials are screen reader-compatible.
Crushendo Audio and PDF outlines are available.Crushendo accommodates access needs with no paperwork required.Illustrated outlines in video format all have human-transcribed captioning.Audio and PDF outlines. Audio available both streaming and MP3 download format.Users can contact Crushendo for screen-reader compatible PDFs.

Lectures

Barbri’s online and on-demand lectures are recorded in 15-30 minute modules, totaling 3-4 hours per topic. Classroom lectures and live broadcasts are 3-4 hours long, but feature regular assessments and breaks during lectures.

Accommodation Requests

Accommodation requests must be emailed, mailed, or faxed to Barbri with either a supporting letter from “the appropriate official at your law school or vocational rehabilitation agency” or “a doctor’s note or other medical documentation.” The request form asks for the nature of your disability as it relates to your request. Barbri wants the request form and documentation at least 90 days before the course start date.

Video Captions

All users have access to closed captions for Barbri’s online and on-demand lectures. We have received contradictory reports on caption quality. Some summer 2020 users reported that they are highly inaccurate, and sometimes simply read “inaudible.” Other users have reported that the captions are accurate and well-synced. Barbri told us in December 2020 that they are working on improving their captions.

Material formats

All Barbri lectures (with one exception) come with transcripts, filled-in handouts, and fillable PDFS online, available to all users. There is no handout for the Torts lecture; however, a Word document with detailed notes on the Torts lecture is available as an accommodation. All courses materials are provided to all users in print and via an online digital library.

Screen reader compatibility

Barbri has partnered with Usablenet to ensure its site meets WCAG 2.0 AA standards.

Additional information

Several users reported that they like Barbri’s information summary charts.

Barbri can provide lecture handouts with the blanks filled in.

Barbri lectures include a unique notetaking tool that automatically pauses the lecture as you type notes.

Barbri’s lectures include a new interactive component that requires the user to see the screen and click on answers. We are reaching out to them to inquire about accessibility considerations.

 

Full disclosure: NDLSA has a partnership with Crushendo, but neither NDLSA nor its board members profit from the partnership. We partnered with Crushendo because of their enthusiastic commitment to accessibility, but we do not maintain it will be the best fit for every bar candidate. Our intent in this guide is to provide information that will allow bar candidates to select the course that best meets their learning style and access needs.

 

Kaplan

kaptest.com/bar-exam

Contact Kaplan at accessibility@kaplan.com

Accommodation Requests

Kaplan's request form may be submitted by fax or email. It asks customers to do the following: (1) State the nature of your disability; (2) Explain how you "function with your disability" in various environments and what accommodations are available to you; (3) Detail whether you have requested accommodations from the test administrator, and what accommodations have been approved; and (4) Detail what accommodations you are requesting from Kaplan.

Video captions

All users can enable captions for UBE, MBE, and CA lectures. Captions are available by request for state-specific lectures in non-UBE jurisdictions. The captions are, at any rate, highly inaccurate. One user provided screen shots from summer 2020 in which the captions read “D boobs for summary judgment on the fraud claim but does not re does not move on” and “So where yesterday we talked about dead guy or test dater.”

Material formats

Kaplan wrote to us: “Instructional material available on the platform can be downloaded such as ebooks. There are also other materials in Word that can be printed. Materials not available for download on the platform are available through the accessibility team.”

Screen reader compatibility

Kaplan’s materials meet WCAG 2.0 A standards.

Additional information

All users can adjust or extend time on practice questions without an accommodation.

Kaplan’s lecture transcripts contain minimal punctuation and paragraph breaks.

Themis

themisbar.com

Contact Themis at ada@themisbar.com

Lectures

Themis breaks each topic down into several video lectures. Each lecture is 5-20 minutes long.

Accommodation Requests

Accommodation requests must be emailed, mailed, or faxed to Themis with a supporting letter from "the appropriate official at your law school or vocational rehabilitation agency," a doctor's note, or other medical documentation. The request form asks for the nature of disability in addition to the accommodations requested. Themis wants the request form and documentation at least 60 days before the course start date.

Additional Information

Text contrast settings are adjustable.

Themis can adjust the timer for timed online tasks such as practice quizzes.

Accommodations are available for an early course start date.

Themis can provide lecture handouts with the blanks filled in.
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