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The ADA and Netflix

Here’s something interesting. “Federal District Court Allows NAD (National Association of the Deaf) to Sue Netflix.”

Seems that Netflix does not want to provide closed captioning on all of its streaming films and says that people do not need this service. Under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), Netflix argues that it applies only to public buildings and structures, not internet services. The court denied Netflix’s motion for dismissal stating that it would be “irrational to conclude” that “places of public accommodation are limited to actual physical structures…In a society in which business is increasingly conducted online, excluding businesses that sell services through the Internet from the ADA would run afoul of the purposes of the ADA and would severely frustrate Congress’s intent that individuals with disabilities fully enjoy the goods, services, privileges and advantages, available indiscriminately to other members of the general public.”

Good for the courts. I think they got this one right. With the increasing number of Baby Boomer and with the number of international and cable programs using an increasing number of talented non-English speakers or English as a second language actors, even people with good hearing have difficulty understanding what is going on. Thank goodness for the TV Ears device which has allowed my husband and me to finally understand the fast speech uttered on Castle; and Johnny Lee Miller’s diatribes on Sherlock, not to mention a lot of other outstanding programming. So I am all for closed captioning.  And if Hollywood was smart, they would get behind this too.