Netflix was left red-faced when the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) sued the on-demand internet streaming video and flat rate DVD-by-mail provider for failing to provide closed-captioning on many of its streaming content.
NAD has alleged that Netflix violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by not offering subtitles in its Watch Instantly streamed movies and TV shows. The ADA requires that all places of entertainment provide full and equal enjoyment for people with disabilities.
The group said it had raised the issue several times with Netflix through letters, petitions and blogs. However, Netflix has so far turned a deaf ear to their please.
We have tried for years to persuade Netflix to do the right thing and provide equal access to all content across all platforms, NAD President Bobbie Beth Scoggins said in a statement. 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.
In its lawsuit filed last thursday in US District Court in Massachussetts, NAD said process of captioning is both technically possible and relatively simple to achieve.
Netflix refused to offer comments, saying as a matter of policy it does not comment on lawsuits.