National Association of the Deaf (NAD) Compliance Guidelines

In accordance with a legal settlement between MIT and the National Association for the Deaf (NAD), video and audio content that is publicly available on MIT websites must be made accessible for people with hearing disabilities. The settlement requires all MIT websites (including individual lab websites on the domain) to take specific steps summarized below.


  • All websites must include the word “Accessibility” in the footer of the site, linking to the MIT Accessibility website.
  • Publicly accessible audio (ex. podcasts) and video content on sites must be properly captioned:
    • Content posted after September 12, 2020 must be captioned as soon as the content is posted.
    • Content posted between Jan. 1, 2019 and Sept. 11, 2020 must be captioned by July 12, 2021.
    • Older existing content must be captioned within 7 days of a specific request.
    • Recordings of livestreams must be captioned within 7 days after posting.
  • Livestreamed content that is available to the public (e.g. Seminars held via Zoom) is not required to be captioned, but if it is recorded and then posted online (and available to the public), then it does require captions.

Research has shown that captioning increases absorption/retention rates.


There are several strategies and tools for captioning videos to make things easier:

  • If a lab member has posted a video to YouTube, that lab member must edit YouTube’s automatic captions to make them accurate (automatic captions are not accurate enough to meet the settlement’s requirements).
  • MIT has identified several vendors who can caption videos for a per minute fee:
  • There are also free tools available to help people create captions:
    • Amara – Online captioning tool that has free and paid versions.
    • CADET – Do it yourself captioning tool for Mac and Windows.
    • MovieCaptioner – Closed captioning software for Mac and Windows (works offline).