Improvements on Netflix’s platform will provide blind users with accessible video content

 Netflix, the American Council of the Blind and the Massachusetts Bay State Council of the Blind – represented by the non-profit legal center Disability Rights Advocates – reached a settlement requiring the audiovisual content’s provider to make its services more accessible for persons with disabilities. According to the agreement, the company’s video streaming services will now be improved with a new feature called “audio description” that will be activated by blind users to access movies and videos.

Audio description technology narrates scenes without dialogue with significant visual components in a synchronized timing. In order for this to happen, television and movie studios will be required to generate the description tracks and provide them to Netflix. Content produced by the company – such as famous series that include House of Cards and Orange is the New Black – will provide these requirements.

However, accessibility in movies and audiovisual content would not be possible without ensuring that the platform supports users to access audio described material independently. For this reason, the agreement also includes clauses related to the adaptation of Netflix’s website and mobile applications with screen-reading software to facilitate accessible navigation through the platform.

As Attorney Rebecca Williford of Disability Rights Advocates explains, the outcome of this collaboration with Netflix is expected to be seen as a model for other entertainment providers to follow.

Read the settlement agreement at www.dralegal.org

Additional Sources: GAATES