Advocates for deaf sue Harvard, MIT over lack of closed captioning for online courses

Associated Press

Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are being sued by advocates for the deaf who say they failed to provide closed captioning for online courses, podcasts and other educational programs.

The National Association for the Deaf filed class action lawsuits in federal court Thursday, saying the Massachusetts universities discriminated against the hearing impaired and violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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The association says much of Harvard's and MIT's online content was not captioned, was inaccurately captioned or was unintelligibly captioned, making it inaccessible. Advocates for the deaf say they want policy changes, not a financial windfall.

Harvard and MIT say they're committed to making their courses and online materials accessible to everyone.

An MIT spokeswoman says it's including captioning in all new online content.