National Association of the Deaf Files Disability Civil Rights Lawsuit against Netflix
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Plaintiffs Charge that Netflix Violates the Americans with Disabilities Act by Not Providing Equal Access to its “Watch Instantly” Streaming Content
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD), the nation’s premier civil rights organization of deaf and hard of hearing individuals, announced the filing of a major federal lawsuit against Netflix today in U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, Western Division in Springfield, MA (Case No. 3:11-cv-30168). The lawsuit charges the entertainment giant with violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to provide closed captioning for most of its “Watch Instantly” movies and television streamed on the Internet.
The New York Times has described Netflix as the “only major player in the online-only video subscription business.” Netflix has over 60% of the streamed video services market share.
An estimated 36 million Americans are deaf or hard of hearing. The deaf and hard of hearing community has repeatedly expressed concerns—via letterspeetitionsbllogsanssoociamedia—to Netflix about its failure to provide equal access to “Watch Instantly.”
“We have tried for years to persuade Netflix to do the right thing and provide equal access to all content across all platforms. 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,” said NAD President Bobbie Beth Scoggins...
What additional advocacy steps do you think our community should take to place pressure on Netflix? Share your thoughts in comments below.