News from NAD.org
The NAD Youth Programs includes five different programs: Jr. NAD and Youth Leadership Camp that are geared towards high school youth; College Bowl and Youth Ambassador Program, which is for deaf youth ages between 18 – 30; and the National Deaf Youth Day that is celebrated across the U.S. every year.
Take a minute and make an impact for someone who
– is looking to fundraise to attend the Youth Leadership Camp this summer
– wants to set up a new Jr. NAD chapter
– is training to win the College Bowl trophy this summer
– will be our next Youth Ambassador
…and for all deaf youth across the U.S. We actually made it easier for you this year, just fill out your information with your credit card, and it’ll go straight to the NAD Youth Programs — you won’t have to do any other clicks or scrolling!
After your donation, share on social media with #GivingTuesday #DeafYouth and tag us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. — be a part of the ripple effect! DONATE
National Association of the Deaf Announces Landmark Settlement With Harvard To Improve Online Accessibility
Settlement Includes Requirements Beyond Harvard’s New Accessibility Policies, Including Captions for Live Events, Third-Party Platforms and Department-Sponsored Student Groups
Harvard Agrees to Enter Consent Decree, Ensuring Court Enforcement of Settlement
BOSTON — The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) announced today a landmark settlement with Harvard University that institutes a series of new guidelines to make the university’s website and online resources accessible for those who are deaf or hard of hearing. The settlement represents the most comprehensive set of online accessibility requirements in higher education and ensures for the first time that Harvard will provide high-quality captioning services for online content. The settlement expands upon Harvard’s new digital accessibility policy, which was announced in May. Harvard must provide captions for all online resources, including school-wide events that are live-streamed, content from department sponsored student organizations and any new university created audio or video hosted by third-party platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo and SoundCloud. The terms of the settlement are included within a consent decree, which can be enforced by the court. The court must approve the consent decree before it may become effective.
This settlement was reached four years after this litigation began in 2015, when it was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Massachusetts as a class action lawsuit. The lawsuit was prompted by the recognition that, notwithstanding the description of Harvard’s online resources as available to “learners throughout the world,” many of its videos and audio recordings lacked captions or used inaccurate captions. Harvard had no published policies in place to ensure these learning tools were accessible to people who are deaf and hard of hearing. In the United States alone, approximately 50 million people are considered deaf or hard of hearing.
Through the litigation, Harvard filed two motions to dismiss the case. In response to each, the court ruled that federal laws prohibiting disability discrimination covered Harvard’s online content. After these rulings were issued, Harvard announced its new digital accessibility policy and several months later the parties reached a settlement.
The individual plaintiffs in this class action lawsuit, C. Wayne Dore, Christy Smith and Lee Nettles, were also represented by Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, the Disability Law Center, the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, and the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center.
“As Harvard learned through this lawsuit, universities and colleges are on notice that all aspects of their campus including their websites must be accessible to everyone. Captioning video content is a basic form of access that opens up academic learning to not only deaf and hard of hearing people but the world. The National Association of the Deaf asks all who develop video content for the Internet to ensure access through quality captioning,” said Howard A. Rosenblum, Chief Executive Officer, National Association of the Deaf.
“Open and equal access to evolving technology is essential if the promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act is to be realized. By committing to caption content on a vast array of research and learning, today that dream came a step closer as one of the top universities in the world opens their digital doors to millions of deaf and hard of hearing people,” said Arlene B. Mayerson, Directing Attorney at the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund.
“This settlement is a milestone for civil rights enforcement in the new millennium, as it ensures the wealth of knowledge and academic research residing on the Harvard University websites will be accessible to people who are deaf and hard of hearing everywhere,” said Joseph M. Sellers who heads the civil rights practice at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll.
“This settlement means greater access for current and future deaf and hard of hearing learners to the vast universe of Harvard’s online content. Ensuring accessibility is not something that can be considered a bonus—it is a fundamental right that everyone deserves. We’re pleased that Harvard will finally be treating all learners with the same standard of respect,” said Amy F. Robertson, Co-Executive Director of the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center.
“The significant expansion of opportunities for deaf and hard of hearing people to participate in Harvard’s community of lifelong learners realized by this settlement is an important step toward inclusion for all individuals with disabilities and invaluable to the intellectual community of our Commonwealth and nation as a whole,” said Marlene Sallo, Executive Director of the Disability Law Center.
The Scale and Scope of the Agreement
Harvard previously announced it will begin captioning new content created on or after December 1 on its website. Yet the settlement requires Harvard to take several new and additional steps, including captioning existing content posted on or after January 2019 within two years. For any content not already captioned, upon receiving a request, Harvard must caption the content within five business days. Furthermore, the university now must provide industry-standard live captioning for school-wide events that are live-streamed, while captioning new content of Department Sponsored Student Organizations, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and university created content on the official channel hosted by third-party platforms, including YouTube, Vimeo and SoundCloud. Harvard must also implement a public process to manage these requests. Harvard is also required to submit reports every six months beginning in June 2020 to the NAD and the Disability Law Center with information about the number of requests received and any changes made to these policies, among other details.
Looking for interested interpreters and co-navigators to join the #NAD2020 Interpreting Team! This is a paid job opportunity in which lodging and travel expenses may be covered, more details will be shared once interpreters and co-navigators (also known as SSP) are selected.
- Deaf Interpreter — minimum qualifications: CDI or BEI certificate strongly preferred but will consider those who have years of interpreting experience
- Hearing Interpreter — minimum qualifications: RID or BEI certificate required
- Co-Navigator (SSP) — minimum qualifications: Deaf Interpreting students welcome, will consider other Deaf applicants
Apply by sending three items:
- letter of interest
- an unlisted YouTube link of you interpreting this video
Apply at email@example.com no later than January 30, 2020.
Looking for deaf seniors who are 50 years old and older! We want to know your experience, share yours today!
Are you between the ages of 18-30? Are you deaf or hard of hearing? Are you from the United States?
…you could be our next Youth Ambassador! YES!
Deaf Health Communication and Quality of Life Center (DHCQoL), Deaf Seniors of America (DSA), and the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) are thrilled to announce a grant collaboration project!
President Melissa gives an update on the five priorities.
Often, federal agencies tell the NAD that no one from the deaf and hard of hearing community complains, so this means, “Everything is fine.” However, we know this is not true — all of us have experienced problems and discrimination. We need to roll our sleeves and file complaints. #AskHoward // October 2019
The NAD invites you to join in promoting National Disability Employment Awareness Month! What are you doing to improve employment? #NDEAM2019
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) welcomes two new staff members, Andrea Vigil and Leah Wiederhorn! We are sad to bid farewell to two wonderful people who have gone on to new adventures. Our former Staff Attorney from 2013 to 2019, Caroline Jackson, moved to California and is now working for another law firm. Our former Outreach Specialist from 2018 to 2019, Teddy Dorsette, III, moved back home to Detroit, Michigan.Andrea
Andrea is our new part-time Front Desk Assistant! She will support our Office Manager, Sean Norman, to ensure smooth operations at the Front Desk. Andrea was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was former Miss Deaf Utah in 2008-2009 and competed in Miss Deaf America pageant at the 2010 NAD Conference in Philadelphia. At Gallaudet University, Andrea was involved in several organizations such as the Bison Crew Dance team, the Latino Student Union, and was a member of the Art Exhibition Showcase. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a minor in Digital Media in 2015. One of her favorite memories was being invited by the Toronto International Deaf Films Festival to share her short abstract film, “Colors.” She is a freelance videographer and enjoys making videos for clients. Andrea loves volunteering, traveling, and cooking.Leah
Leah joins the Law and Advocacy Center as a full-time Staff Attorney. Leah is responsible for litigating civil rights disability cases on behalf of deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States. Prior to joining the NAD, Leah was a senior staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights, where she litigated complex reproductive rights lawsuits around the country. Leah was an attorney at the Law Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing at Eisenberg and Baum, LLP, where she litigated complex discrimination lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, as well as applicable state civil rights laws. Leah previously served as an attorney at the Legal Aid Society, representing children in foster care proceedings and juvenile delinquency defense, among other Family Court matters. Leah was of counsel to the Law Office of Rankin & Taylor in Section 1983, Bivens, and Federal Tort Claims Act litigation and has also worked as a litigation associate at Rosin Steinhagen Mendel. Leah holds a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School, where she received the Professor Nancy H. Fink Family Law Award, the Brooklyn Law School Public Service Award, and the CALI Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy. While at Brooklyn Law School, Leah was a member of the Moot Court Honor Society and served as co-chair of Brooklyn Law School Students for the Public Interest. Leah received her B.A. in American History and Human Rights from Columbia University. In her free time, Leah enjoys reading literature, traveling, and watching independent films.
Andrea and Leah, welcome to the NAD!
The NAD was established in 1880 by deaf leaders who believed in the right of the American deaf community to use sign language, to congregate on issues important to them, and to have its interests represented at the national level. As a nonprofit federation, the mission of the NAD is to preserve, protect, and promote the civil, human, and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States. The advocacy scope of the NAD is broad, covering the breadth of a lifetime and impacting future generations in the areas of early intervention, education, employment, health care, technology, telecommunications, youth leadership, and more.