Lawsuits say Harvard, MIT webcasts leave out deaf Americans

February 12, 2015 in Community News, Disability Law

 

 

(Reuters) – An advocacy group for the deaf on Thursday sued Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, saying the elite schools had violated laws by posting online video and audio recordings for public use that lacked accurate captions.

Two lawsuits charged that Harvard and MIT said the webcast recordings were intended to provide the public free access to the schools but were unusable by people with difficulty hearing because they either lacked captions or had captions that were so poor as to be unusable.

“Harvard has largely denied access to this content to the approximately 48 million – nearly one out of five – Americans who are deaf or hard of heading,” plaintiffs, including the National Association for the Deaf, said in a filing in U.S. District Court in Boston on Thursday.