Release Date: 
Thursday, April 2, 2015
Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

National Federation of the Blind Applauds DOJ Settlement with edX

Baltimore, Maryland (April 2, 2015): The National Federation of the Blind, the nation’s leading advocate for equal access by the blind to educational technology,  today applauded a settlement agreement reached by the United States Department of Justice with edX, Inc., a nonprofit platform created by MIT and Harvard University for select universities to offer massive open online courses (MOOCs) to students throughout  the world. The settlement agreement, which resolves allegations of discrimination under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, requires edX to make its website, mobile apps, content management system, and other components of its MOOC platform accessible to the blind and other students with disabilities. edX will also provide guidance to developers of MOOCs that use its platform to help make course content fully accessible. The settlement was announced by Carmen M. Ortiz, U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, and Acting Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta of the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice.

Mark A. Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “We applaud this landmark settlement agreement, which sends a clear message to providers of online courses and educational technology that their content and services must be accessible to students with disabilities. The creation and distribution of inaccessible educational content and technology denies students with disabilities an equal education and is therefore a form of discrimination against them. Indeed, the propagation of inaccessible education materials is particularly egregious because digital information is inherently accessible and is only made inaccessible by flawed platform design. We commend the United States Department of Justice for its commitment to equal access for all students, and we commend edX for agreeing to take the needed steps to provide that access.”