Justice Department, edX Reach Settlement

April 3, 2015

Massive open online course provider edX on Thursday announced it had reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, ensuring that the platform will be made accessible to learners with disabilities.

The agreement includes provisions that kick in over the course of 18 months, and edX will be required to report on its progress roughly every 10 months during a 40-month period. The short-term changes, to be implemented within 30, 45 and 90 days, involve laying the groundwork for edX's website to become accessible to users with disabilities. By the 18-month mark, the edX platform will conform to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, a common standard for accessibility on the web.

The National Association of the Deaf in February sued Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which co-founded edX, for not captioning all the video lectures they provide. While Thursday's settlement does not cover content, it does require edX to create a set of best practices that partner institutions can follow to make their content accessible to learners with disabilities.

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