Netflix will have closed captioning for its entire video library by the year 2014. The decision came at the height of a lawsuit from the National Association for the Deaf. Netflix is also going to pay over $755,000 in legal fees.
The lawsuit from the NAD surfaced in 2010. The NAD’s position was that Netflix’s website and services should be classified as a “place of public accommodation.” That would make it subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act. This is the same act that makes handicap parking spaces obligatory.
Netflix didn’t agree, saying that as an online company with members that have to pay to be able to use its services, it is not subject to the national law. But now they are making a good faith effort and the site actually already offers closed captioning for about 85% of its content. By next year, they want that number up to 90%. By 2014 it will all be captioned. The NAD is pretty happy about Netflix’s actions.