Netflix is celebrating Global Accessibility Awareness Day with expanded languages, screenings and a new collection. The platform is beefing up its audio descriptions (AD) and subtitles for deaf and hard of hearing (SDH) offerings in more languages, including French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Korean.
In an attempt to make its content more accessible, Netflix is also rolling out new UI elements that allow users to see what accessibility options are available at-a-glance, instead of having to begin to watch something, hit pause, and then look.
The platform is spotlighting this work in Celebrating Disability with Dimension collection, which highlights stories focused on people living with disabilities. The collection has over 50 shows and films with characters or stories about people living with disabilities.
Discussing the company’s efforts to bridge the accessibility gap, Heather Dowdy, Netflix’s director of product accessibility says, “By increasing our SDH and AD language availability to over 20 languages, we hope to give all of our members the ability to see their lives reflected on screen, no matter where you’re from, what language you speak, or what abilities you have. We are also introducing new badges for our shows and films that have AD and SDH on Web and iOS to make it easier to discover stories suited for your needs.”
She goes on to stress the importance of creating accessibility options for people living with disabilities. In her words,
“How we access stories has changed a lot. Whether it’s video conference calls, texting, or the flashing doorbell, nowadays technology can build bridges to access for many people living with disabilities. With over 1 billion people living with disabilities globally, the opportunity to tell more inclusive stories and bond within our communities over storytelling is tremendous. We will also be hosting Accessibility Screenings in select countries globally to bring our AD and SDH features to life outside of the living room and discuss ways to make entertainment more accessible.”