Netflix language accessibility tool introduced

By Srikanth
3 Min Read
Netflix language accessibility tool introduced 1

On May 19, Netflix released the latest feature of improvement in a bid to make its content more accessible to its members with disabilities. The release is made on the marking of the 11th anniversary of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD).


The video streaming service is enlarging the language availability of its audio descriptions (AD) and subtitles for the deaf SDH features by 10 additional languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, and French, taking the total count to 20 languages. Initiating from May to the year 2023, this will be rolled out across its original content library.

Heather Dowdy, product manager at Netflix, said, before this time, you were typically able to access the features like SDH and audio description in the language of their original production. By adding more language to the panel, Netflix is making sure that its customers with disabilities can also be included in the conversation which is happening around the content field.

Dowdy said, in around 21 countries, they facilitate their SDH and AD language. We offer all the availability to our members to visualize their lives reflected on the screen no matter from where they belong, what language they prefer to speak, or their abilities. 

SDH and audio descriptions can be accessed through the subtitles and audio option when any show or movie is streamed.

Building Accessibility Characteristics

Dowdy mentioned that her prime focus is on equipping the company’s designers and engineers to build more inclusive and accessible products.

She said we’re looking at how we incorporate accessibility into our framework as we generate new characteristics. We gather the response on these features internally and on an external basis by working with organizations that give us feedback directly. It helps us prioritize what work needs to take place to make our service more accessible.

These features also have broader implications since it creates the service more inclusive and accessible to everyone.

A lot of our members are advantaged by our accessibility features. For instance, 40% of our members watch our content with subtitles on, which states there are more users than just members with disabilities accessing it. The learning about how we use to generate these characteristics and make certain improvements accordingly.

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