MIT agrees to caption online videos

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the USA will provide captions for more of its publicly available online videos, to settle a lawsuit by the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) that accused the school of discriminating against people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The settlement comes after a similar agreement was reached with Harvard University. The cases hold that the schools were discriminating against people with hearing disabilities when offering courses that MIT called ‘open and available to the world’ although not all of these materials are adequately or accurately captioned, although there are more than 50 million deaf and hard of hearing people in the USA alone. In a past case, the US Justice Department  ordered the University of California, Berkeley, to provide captions, but the school preferred to restrict public access to thousands of online videos, which then were no longer subject to the order.

NAD hailed the the results as a ‘landmark agreement’ which establishes a new model for online accessibility in higher education and business.