ADA Round-Up: Lawsuit Challenges Accessibility of Major Podcast Platforms

Dec 16 2021 David Titmus
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Welcome to the latest edition of “ADA in the News,” featuring recent updates and rulings regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) have filed a lawsuit against three major providers of podcasts − SiriusXM, Stitcher, and Pandora − for failing to provide captioning and transcripts for “the vast majority” of their podcasts.

The lawsuit argues that SiriusXM and its subsidiaries Pandora and Stitcher are in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and New York state law for failing to make their podcast streams accessible for deaf and hard-of-hearing users. Because of this, the suit notes that more than 48 million deaf and hard-of-hearing Americans are denied full and equal enjoyment of the content they offer their hearing users.

“Podcasts are the latest form of entertainment, and it is imperative that deaf-and-hard of hearing people not be left behind,” said Howard Rosenblum, CEO of the NAD. “SiriusXM, Stitcher, and Pandora have a duty under federal, state, and city laws to ensure their podcasts are fully accessible.”

The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages and an injunction requiring the companies to provide transcripts for all of their podcast content and to bring their websites into compliance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) standards for digital accessibility.

Click here for more information on accessible podcasts and transcripts.

Justice Department, Transit Provider Reach Web Accessibility Agreement 

The United States Department of Justice has entered into a settlement agreement with the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (MTD) in Illinois to resolve alleged violations of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Under the agreement, MTD will make its website and mobile applications accessible for users who are blind or with low vision as well as those with physical disabilities. Public transportation users rely on the transit system’s website and mobile apps to plan trips, check arrival times, and find fare information.

Additionally, MTD will invest a minimum of $100,000 to improve its services for passengers with disabilities.