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August 7   -   ArtsJournal: music

Are Internet Standards A Threat To Digital Accessibility?

Last March, when a judge ordered the University of California–Berkeley to make 20,000 videos and podcasts accessible to people with disabilities, the university balked. The videos and audio files contained lectures by Berkeley professors that the university wanted to make available to anyone, as an act of public outreach, but disability rights groups had sued on the grounds that the materials lacked captions, were often incompatible with the screen readers that blind people use to access the Internet, and other related issues. So the judge ordered the university to make the materials accessible. Instead, Berkeley shut the program down, locking the formerly public materials behind a firewall . The university said it was just too expensive to retrofit accessibility into their public program.


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