The National Association of the Deaf (NAD), a non-profit civil rights organization of, by, and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals, and VUDU, Inc., a wholly owned streaming entertainment subsidiary of Walmart, have reached an agreement for VUDU to caption 100% of programming content streamed through VUDU’s Video on Demand Service.
The agreement indicates the parties’ mutual intent to increase access for people who are deaf and hard of hearing to movies and television streamed on the Internet. VUDU has ensured that as of January 16, 2015, every title listed in its catalog is closed-captioned or subtitled. In addition, VUDU has committed to captioning all newly-acquired content as soon as that content is made available to the public.
Howard A. Rosenblum, CEO of NAD, said, “Online streaming entertainment has become one of the most popular methods of viewing movies and television shows. The National Association of the Deaf is thrilled to announce that 48 million deaf and hard of hearing people will be able to fully access VUDU’s Video on Demand services.”
“We are grateful for NAD’s guidance and are excited to be offering VUDU’s entire library of HD movies and TV to customers who are deaf and hard of hearing,” said Jeremy Verba, General Manager, VUDU.
“Streaming entertainment is reshaping how people watch television and movies. VUDU has ensured that its deaf and hard of hearing customers have that same access to this new entertainment delivery system,” said Arlene Mayerson, Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund’s Directing Attorney. “DREDF urges other streaming entertainment providers to incorporate access to deaf and hard of hearing individuals at the outset rather than as an afterthought. It’s a sound business practice that’s also the right thing to do.”
“By ensuring 100% closed captions on all of its streaming titles, VUDU has demonstrated that it is an industry leader, setting the standards for an open Internet,” said Bill Lann Lee, an attorney at Lewis, Feinberg, Lee, Renaker & Jackson, P.C.
The Settlement Agreement (PDF) between NAD and VUDU is available here.
National Association of the Deaf (NAD)
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is the nation’s premier civil rights organization of, by and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States of America. NAD represents the estimated 48 million Americans who are deaf or hard of hearing and is based in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF)
Founded in 1979 by people with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities, the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF) is a national law and policy center based in Berkeley, California and is dedicated to protecting and advancing the civil rights of people with disabilities.
Lewis, Feinberg, Lee, Renaker & Jackson, P.C.
Lewis, Feinberg, Lee, Renaker & Jackson, P.C. is a national law firm based in Oakland, California that represents plaintiffs in civil rights, employment discrimination, ERISA employee benefit and pension litigation, and wage and hour overtime litigation.
- Ingrid Tischer, Director of Development, DREDF
510-644-2555 (ext 5241) or [email protected]
- Bao Nguyen, Walmart Media Relations
1-800-331-0085 or http://news.walmart.com/reporter