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Netflix, Inc / ignores its hearing impaired client base

1 United States Review updated:

Netflix advertises its on demand content streaming feature as an integral portion of your monthly service fee, yet nearly none of that streamed content has closed captions or subtitles for the hearing impaired.

Being that I am in a hearing impaired household, having closed captions or subtitles is a necessity.

Now Netflix is raising the price of my account from $16.99 per month to $19.99. In the same price increase notification email, they offer an alternative to the price hike. For $7.99 per month, you can have unlimited streaming of Netflix content without DVDs.

Well, this new cost-saving $7.99 plan is not useful to members who are deaf or hard of hearing because most of the content being streamed doesn't include captions or subtitles.

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  • De
      26th of Nov, 2010

    Two things: Regulation and improper term

    DOJ Regulation:

    The DOJ rule prohibits the assessment of a charge or "surcharge" for compliance with this section, 28 C.F.R. Section 36.301(c),

    It states: (c) Charges. A public accommodation may not impose a surcharge on a particular in...dividual with a disability or any group of individuals with disabilities to cover the costs of measures, such as the provision of auxiliary aids, barrier removal, alternatives to barrier removal, and reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures, that are required to provide that individual or group with the nondiscriminatory treatment required by the Act or this part.

    Read more: More

    Improper Term: Hearing Impaired

    Please be advised that the term, “hearing impaired” is unacceptable. Here is the explanation:

    The term "Hearing Impaired" is a technically accurate term much preferred by hearing people, largely because they view it as politically correct. In the mainstream society, to boldly state one's disability (e.g., deaf, blind, etc.) is somewhat rude and impolite. To their way of thinking, it is far better to soften the harsh reality by using the word "impaired" along with "visual", "hearing", and so on. "hearing-impaired" is a well-meaning word that is much-resented by deaf and hard of hearing people.

    While it's true that their hearing is not perfect, that doesn't make them impaired as people. Most would prefer to be called Deaf, Hard of Hearing or deaf when the need arises to refer to their hearing status, but not as a primary way to identify them as people (where their hearing status is not significant).

    Hope that you and your people respect by refusing to use the outdated and offensive term.

    +1 Votes
  • Nc
      4th of Dec, 2010

    List of 310+ Netflix titles with English Subtitles:
    I agree with the comment, however they *are* working on it -- just not very quickly. Since april 15th only 288 titles they have added captions to (not including the 22 foreign titles on my list, above) this averages out to only 1.25 titles each day!!! Why so slow?!?!?

    +1 Votes
  • Si
      27th of Mar, 2011

    It truly staggers the imagination that in this day and age people who think themselves "haves" of the world still begrudge little morsels available to those they deem "have-nots!" It is not a sense of "entitlement, " as "TheLoveFistII" says! It is equal access under the law! Public accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act have been made for many years. Deaf people have dealt with enough injustices and ignorance. They took the moral "high road" when trying to reason with Netflix, but Netflix has dragged its feet for years, scarcely captioning 6% of its streamed library.

    Surprise, surprise, your television comes equipped with a decoder chip to show those captions and has done so since January, 1993. Before this time, Deaf and hard-of-hearing people had to pay $200 MORE PER TELEVISION to watch programming with captions (that's what the decoder box cost from the Sears catalog until the Government stepped in).

    Yes, movie theaters are also required and DO provide captioned showings. Check your local listings for times and locations.

    LoveFist, think about this: suppose I were to tell you that the 2nd story restaurant you wanted to try (because you were wheelchair bound) was inaccessible? What would you do? The law provides for elevators and ramps--just as it does for captions. I think that just because hearing is taken somewhat for granted and is a hidden "disability, " hearing people tend to get frustrated with the Deaf and are less tolerant of their need for accommodations. I, for one, have had my fill of the lack of compassion.

    -1 Votes

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