UC Berkeley announced Wednesday that it would restrict public access to existing educational contentafter a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation concluded that many of the video captions did not meet standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Campus will instead invest in developing new online content with necessary accessibility features, according to campus spokesperson Roqua Montez. Montez said that because of limited viewership of more than 20,000 course capture videos and a projected cost of at least $1 million for captioning, campus decided not to revamp the videos deemed inaccessible.
“On average, the older videos were watched for less than 8 minutes,” Montez said. “(It) doesn’t make sense to go back and do that, given the budget climate we are in. We had to weigh that as a factor.”
After viewers unaffiliated with UC Berkeley made a complaint in 2014, the DOJ released a report in August detailing accessibility issues with campus’s educational content. A majority of the YouTube videos were captioned using YouTube’s speech recognition technology rather than being manually captioned. As a result, video content was incorrectly communicated to viewers...