Lawsuit against Netflix Demands Equal Access for the Deaf

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) filed a federal lawsuit against Netflix yesterday alleging that it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to provide closed captioning for most of its instant and streamed content.

“There is no
excuse for Netflix to fail to provide captions so that deaf and hard of hearing
customers have access to the same movies and TV shows as everyone else,” said
Arlene Mayerson, directing attorney of the Disability Rights Education and
Defense Fund. “Netflix admits that there is no technological issue. For people
who are deaf and hard of hearing, captions are like ramps for people who use

The ADA requires
that all entertainment businesses provide equal access to enjoyment by people
with disabilities. If the case is ruled in the plaintiffs’ favor, the court could require Netflix to provide closed captions
on all of its streaming content. 

“We have tried for
years to persuade Netflix to do the right thing and provide equal access to all
content across all platforms,” said NAD President Bobbie Beth
Scoggins. “They chose not to serve our community on an equal basis; we
must have equal access to the biggest provider of streamed entertainment. As
Netflix itself acknowledges, streamed video is the future and we must not be
left out.”