Netflix will add closed captions to all of its videos within two years


Corrected. Netflix has settled a court case brought against it by the National Association for the Deaf and other disability rights advocates, agreeing to a consent decree that will require it to have closed captions for all of its videos by October 2014. Before it reaches that point, Netflix will allow its users to specifically search for closed captioned content on its website. Currently, 82 percent of all videos on Netflix all hours of Netflix content streamed in the U.S. have closed captions, according to the consent decree (PDF, hat tip to Ars Technica).

Deaf and hard-of-hearing advocates had sued Netflix for allegedly violating the Americans with Disabilities act. Netflix admitted no wrongdoing as part of the consent decree, but agreed to pay the plaintiffs $755,000 in legal fees.

The company will now work to add captions to 90 percent of its content streamed hours within a year, with the final deadline for having all of its videos captioned being September 30 2014. Netflix recently partnered with the captioning platform Amara to experiment with  a crowdsourced approach to video subtitling.

Netflix isn’t the only company trying to add more captions to its videos. Amazon finally started adding captions to its Instant streaming service earlier this month, and YouTube recently began to ask its users to tell on publishers who don’t offer closed captions. Both moves are in response to FCC regulations that came into effect at the beginning of October, demanding captions for all online video content that previously aired on TV.

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