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Novi Schools removes board meeting videos from website
November 30, 2016

NOVI, MI - Novi Schools recently removed all board meeting video links from their website due to threat of lawsuit by the U.S. Department of Education. In an email message to stake holders, superintendent Dr. Steve Matthews wrote:

You may have noticed that our EZStream Board meeting videos and all other videos have been removed from our Novi Community School District website.

In an effort to make sure that our website is accessible to everyone and that we stay compliant with all State and Federal guidelines, we have removed all videos. We are in contact with multiple companies to see how they help us add closed captioning to these videos. Once this process is complete, these EZStream Board meeting videos and all other videos will return to our website.

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we transition to a website that is accessible for everyone.

Matthews further clarified to, "Several districts in Oakland County have already received letters from the Office of Civil Rights regarding website accessibility issues, including captioning of videos. Although we have not received a letter, we are being proactive in trying to comply with issues that have arisen in other districts, trying to prevent our district from undergoing an Office of Civil rights audit regarding our website accessibility."

He went on to explain, "On December 2 two of our staff members are going to a workshop where we hope to get more clarification on this issue. After that workshop it might be possible that we can see a way to provide access to our videos. That is our hope."

The U.S. Department of Education posted on their website that they have threatened to sue, and reached settlements with, several school districts across the country.

It does not appear there have been any direct complaints to Novi's schools about the board videos. We understand a fairly inexpensive fix has already been identified, and that it's hoped that can be implemented soon. In the meantime, the meeting videos still appear to be available online at an independent website.