Here’s a guide to using Netflix’s accessibility features.
Netflix has over 10,000+ hours of audio descriptions on Netflix globally in over 30 different languages. You can access the gallery here. An Audio Description logo has been added to the relevant titles. Closed Captions are also available for the hearing impaired.
Browsing on Netflix
If you’re looking to browse or navigate Netflix for something you may enjoy watching, enable VoiceOver on iOS or TalkBack on Android devices. It’ll automatically be able to read out the navigation menu, the title names, ratings, and even describe the visual of the key art in brief.
How to find titles with Audio Description
On the Netflix app, go to either TV shows or Movies, select Genre and then scroll down to the last option: Audio Description. This will show you only titles that contain audio descriptions. Additionally, you can choose your language preference so for example, Audio Description in Spanish will give you content in that specific language only.
Selecting Audio Description for blind and visually impaired users
To turn on Audio Description, you can simply start playing a title, and navigate to Audio & Subtitles and select Audio Description. Once enabled, it will become your default setting. On iOS, users can skip this step as enabling Audio Descriptions enabled in your device settings, will let Netflix play them by default.
For the hearing-impaired: The same Audio & Subtitles menu will let you also select Closed Captions. They’re similar to your usual subtitles but with the addition of descriptions of background noises, tracks playing in the background, or names of characters who may be speaking off camera.
Downloading titles with Audio Description: These will automatically be downloaded if you have Audio Description turned on already.
How to increase subtitle size
If you have difficulty reading small fonts, go to Account, select your Profile and then select Change to make the necessary adjustments. You’ll even be able to add a drop shadow or background colour against the subtitles for better visibility.
Netflix has an extensive list of guidelines when it comes to creating audio descriptions. These are made available to the public so others can incorporate best practices for accessibility as well.