In 2015, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) filed a lawsuit in Massachusetts federal court against Harvard University. The class action complaint alleged that thousands of videos and audio tracks on the university’s website and third-party platforms violated two federal laws, the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act. In late November 2019, Harvard agreed to a consent decree to settle the dispute.
The settlement includes the university’s agreement, within the next two years, to provide captions for all online resources, including live-streamed events both on Harvard’s website and third-party platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo. Harvard further agreed that, beginning in June 2020, it will provide corresponding reports to NAD and the Disability Law Center every six months. The settlement also calls for Harvard to pay $1.5 million to NAD for attorney fees and costs relating to the litigation. The settlement is subject to the court’s approval.
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