American Heart Association Commits to Captioning Online Video

February 29, 2016 BY EMILY GRIFFIN
Updated: June 3, 2019

This week the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and the American Heart Association (AHA) reached a resolution on a disability discrimination lawsuit about accessible web video.

In March, 2015, a deaf medical student sued the AHA for failing to provide closed captioned video in their online CPR certification courses. The plaintiff argued that the AHA’s failure to accommodate a person with a hearing disability violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The AHA avoided initial requests for captioning, but this week they announced they are committed to captioning online video. Videos for online courses will be captioned “to the maximum extent possible.” In addition, the AHA will take steps to provide better accommodations for deaf and hard-of-hearing attendees at live meetings and conferences.

In a press release on the AHA website, their President, Dr. Mark Creager, stated:

For a number of years, the AHA has had a policy of non-discrimination in all of our programs. We want our information and programs to be accessible by as many as possible. Not only does it align with our values and policies as an organization, but it’s just the right thing to do. We’re excited to make this happen.

The NAD’s CEO Howard A. Rosenblum celebrated the resolution as a victory for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community:

With this collaboration, 48 million deaf and hard of hearing people in the USA now have equal access to life-saving information and resources that will benefit all of society. The NAD recognizes the valuable work of the AHA and applauds their efforts to be fully inclusive.

For more information on how the ADA applies to online video captioning, download our free whitepaper.

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