Amazon Agrees To Include Closed Captions On All Streaming Videos

bttf2grabHard of hearing Amazon Prime subscribers already know that all the videos on that subscription service include closed captions, but not every video offered online by Amazon comes with captions. That is going to change after the e-tailer reached a deal with the National Association of the Deaf to expand its captioning efforts to encompass the site’s full catalog.

Part of the problem with running a large library of videos is that a streaming service sometimes has to take whatever the producers are willing to provide. Thus, not every video arrives at Amazon with captions attached.

As part of Amazon’s agreement with the NAD, it will add captions to titles where they were not provided by the content companies. In all, the NAD says this means that 190,000 videos will be more accessible for those who need or prefer closed captions.

In terms of timing, Amazon has pledged that by the end of 2015 it will have captions on at least 90% of regularly viewed videos (i.e., those that have been viewed at least 10 times in the previous 90 days). By the end of 2016, Amazon promises to have 100% of that content captioned.

“This is an enormous step in making online entertainment accessible to the 48 million deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States alone,” said NAD CEO Howard Rosenblum said in a statement. “Amazon is a one-stop shop for everything from household items and clothing to books and video entertainment. The NAD is thus thrilled by Amazon’s decision to make its online entertainment experience more accessible to deaf and hard of hearing customers who also look to Amazon to fulfill their needs for comprehensive goods and services.”

The NAD previously reached a similar arrangement with Netflix, but only after the organization sued the streaming video giant in federal court.

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