Netflix improves accessibility for the blind

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Wednesday, 20 April 2016 16:16pm

In a court settlement with the American Council of the Blind (ACB), Netflix has agreed to include more audio description on its streamed content and DVD rental services, as well as making its website and mobile applications accessible for blind people who use screen readers.

Little boy watching TV with his back towards us

In a media release, Kim Charlson, President of the ACB, hailed the settlement. “As television and movies are increasingly delivered through streaming and home delivery services, ensuring that the blind community receives access to this content is critical to ensure that people who are blind are integrated into modern society.”

Robert Baran, who is blind, and the Bay State Council of the Blind, were also parties to the settlement, which will see Netflix requiring television and movie studios to provide audio description tracks. Netflix will also provide audio description for its original programs, such as Orange is the New Black.

Netflix introduced audio description on some of its titles shortly after it launched in Australia in 2015, and as it moves to standardise its services around the world, the extra audio described content that will be provided as part of this settlement should eventually become available here.

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