In April 2015, Netflix began offering select streaming videos (not
audio description tracks, starting with Marvel's Daredevil, and they have been adding
described titles at an impressive pace (27/month at last count). Here are some of the
more than 250 offerings in the USA:
Original Series Like ...
- The Crown
- House of Cards
- Marvel's Daredevil
- Orange is the New Black
TV Series Like ...
- About a Boy
- Criminal Minds
- Longmire (2015 and on as Netflix Originals)
- The Office
Movies Like ...
Children's Animated Series and Movies Like ...
These Netflix offerings are divided nearly equally between children
(G/PG), teen (PG-13), and adult (R) programming.
To see the complete list of audio described videos available in your
country, on a PC or Mac click
audio description link at the bottom of your
Netflix Home page
(URL may vary by country) after
(You must have a Netflix account to access the list.
You may sign up for Netflix free for the first month if you wish to
sample the service; after that it costs about $10/month for unlimited
You can also view the list on an iPad (last entry in
the category list on
the pull-down menu, just prior to App Settings), Apple TV
(under Categories), iPhone (via pull-down menu on top
left), and other devices such as Android phones. Alternatively, you may
view our alphabetized
described USA Netflix titles, which is updated frequently.
NOTE: If you want audio described DVDs (as opposed to streaming
video), after you are signed in as the primary user, click "DVD" at the
top of the screen; then hover your cursor over BROWSE, and Audio
Description will appear as an option. The fee structure is
different if you want DVDs, so you have to sign up for this. If
you normally sign in on the DVDs page, click "Watch Instantly" to get to
the page mentioned above.
In April, 2016, an agreement between the ACB and several others was
announced with Netflix. While some of the points of agreement had
been previously announced or implemented, several items are new.
Key points of the agreement are:
- Netflix will request audio description tracks in all its new
contracts with streaming content providers. For third-party
content that is already in the Netflix streaming library, the company
“shall make reasonable efforts to obtain existing audio description
assets” for those videos.
- Netflix will provide audio description for TV and movies branded
as “Netflix Original,” assuming it has the necessary rights for
creating audio descriptions. If Netflix doesn’t control the
audio description rights, it will “make commercially reasonable
efforts to secure and offer audio description.”
- For DVD subscribers, Netflix “shall make commercially reasonable
efforts” to offer discs with audio description on videos from
third-parties, “whenever such videos are available.”
- Netflix has agreed to add audio description search functions and
will also make its website and mobile applications accessible to
individuals who are blind and use screen-reading software.
- The agreement specifies that by Dec. 31, 2016, Netflix will have
updated all apps for all applicable devices to provide blind
individuals using screen-reading technology with access to the same
features available to sighted users. [If you find this to be
untrue in 2017, please notify us.]
- Reference article:
Disability Rights Advocates (the negotiating organization)
- Reference article:
- Reference article:
While Netflix is the first streaming service to offer description,
this agreement both takes its commitment to a new level AND sets the
stage for negotiated agreements with Amazon, Hulu, and other streaming
- Comcast XFINITY X1 boxes
- Browsers on Windows PCs or Apple Macs
- Android phones and tablets
- Apple iOS 8 or higher iPhones and iPads (see
Additional Resources below)
- Apple TV (on a
third generation or higher Apple TV -
see this article to check generation number)
- Sony PlayStation 3 and 4
- Microsoft Xbox 360 and Xbox One
- Roku 3
- Amazon Fire TV Stick
- Many newer models of Blu-ray players, Smart TVs, and other
Activating Audio Description on Netflix (subject to change, of
- Here's the good news: Once "English - Audio
Description" is selected, it will be remembered across devices
for the current program and all future programs containing
description. So set it once and forget it!
- On a browser, there is no easy way for a screen
reader user to select description; so have a sighted person hover
the mouse over the screen of a video with description to activate the control
bar, then use the Languages icon
(the next to last one as shown
on the bottom of the figure below)
to select the Audio menu.
- For all other devices, Netflix has
created a help page entitled
do I adjust subtitles, captions and alternate audio on my device?
However, given the popularity of iOS devices (and our personal
possession of such ...), we have created our own help information
- On iOS devices, you may be able to skip the
following directions by doing the following: Under Settings,
General, Accessibility, turn the Video Descriptions option ON.
Netflix, like many other apps, reportedly honors this setting.
Alternatively, again understanding that you may need sighted
- On an iPhone, a screen similar to the first
one below should appear when you open a stream for viewing.
The Language Options menu is the third button. When you
click it, the second menu appears, and you select English Audio
Description, which is generally the second one down on the left.
Click the Done button, top right.
- On an iPad, a menu similar to the one shown
above appears via the
Languages pull-down at the top of the screen.
- On an Apple TV, the process depends on
whether or not you have a new Generation 4 (available in late
2015) with a touchpad on the remote, or the previous model
(Generation 3). The Generation 1 or 2 Apple TVs do not support
- For the new 2015 Gen 4 model, start by swiping down on the
remote's touchpad to activate the Options menu. The
rest of the process is close to what is described below,
except that the initial options may be Info, Subtitles, and
Audio, and you want to start by moving to the right to
- For previous models without a touchpad (Gen 3 only), you press and hold
large Select button on the 3-button remote to activate the Options
- In either case, there are two or three categories available:
Subtitles, Audio, and maybe Speakers. Initially the cursor is
found on the first option under Subtitles, which is "Off." To
get to the description option, you must cursor up once to get to the
categories list, cursor one to the right for Audio, then cursor one
down to get to the Languages list. The first option should be
"English - Audio Description." Double-click it to select it,
and in a moment the video will begin again with that option.
These menus are subject to change, so the order may not be exactly
correct. If you are unable to access these menus, then perhaps
you have a first or second generation Apple TV, which does not
support these options. See the link in the earlier section on
how to verify your generation number.
- Other devices should be similar to the options shown above. Or
see the referenced
Netflix help page.
The ACB worked behind the scenes with Netflix on introducing
description, but congratulations are also in order to Robert Kingett for spearheading the effort to get
audio description on Netflix. Read Robert's
Accessible Netflix Project blog, including his post on
Netflix's quiet introduction of AD.