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Accessibility Features on Netflix

Accessibility Features on Netflix

Netflix, an OTT platform, launched its streaming services in 2007, providing you an easy way to watch tons of TV shows and movies. The library of films can be streamed over the internet, but you need to subscribe to Netflix. As of July 2019, Netflix has 209 million subscribers. It is available worldwide except for China, Syria, North Korea, and Crimea. Being a member of the Motion Picture Association (MPA), Netflix produces and distributes content from countries all over the globe. Netflix is investing steadily in original content as people instantly pay to watch new unique content. With its original content, Netflix has taken more Emmys than HBO.  

Download the Netflix app on all your devices and watch unlimited video content with these plans (United States). The Basic plan is $8.99/ month, the Standard plan for $13.99/ month, and the Premium plan for 17.99/ month. The charges at Netflix vary from country to country. Alas, it has no ads, no ads at all, which makes Netflix the most subscribed online streaming service. Also, Netflix allows people to share its account with multiple users. Now that you are aware of the huge video selections and the original content available at Netflix, it’s a perfect way to the entertainment world.

Various Accessibility features on Netflix

Let’s take a tour to know all the accessibility features on Netflix. You are free to control your playback experience with a range of features here. It’s most helpful for people with hearing, sight, or impaired physical mobility.

Assistive Listening Systems

You can use many types of assistive listening systems to watch movies and shows. Some of the standard devices that are compatible with assistive listening on Netflix are headphones, headsets, hearing aids, and neck loops. 

A few of these devices may not work when the TV audio is set to Dolby or Auto. In that case, change the audio settings to PCM or linear audio.

Audio description

Never miss a single move on the screen. Audio descriptions are additional audio track that adds more description to the visuals on screen like the facial expressions, background, costumes, or the changes in the scene. This description is available for most of the Netflix original titles and many other TV shows. A few shows may not have audio descriptions. Netflix is working on them.

Steps to turn on or off the Audio description

  • Open Netflix and select a movie or show you wish to watch.
  • Start playing and take action depending on the device you are using.
Mobile phones, tablets, and computersTap or click the screen
Smart TV, Blu-ray players, set-top boxes, gaming systems, streaming media playersPress the up or down arrow on the remote
Apple TV 2 or Apple TV 3Hold down the center button on the Apple TV remote
Apple TV 4 and Apple TV 4KSwipe down on the Apple TV remote
  • At either top or bottom of the screen, select Dialog . Now choose from the languages shown or select others to view all language options available. 
  • On Tvs, language options may appear at the button of the screen without the icon (Dialog box shown above). Make changes to the audio or subtitles.
  • Choose the audio track that has an audio description to turn it on. Else, select the track without audio description to turn it off.

Brightness Control

Brightness settings are available on Android and iOS mobile devices. Play the movie or show on your mobile device. Tap on the screen. To adjust the brightness, slide the brightness indicator up or down to increase or decrease.

Font Size Controls

You can change your original font size to large font size. You need to update the accessibility settings on your iOs or Android mobile devices.

  • Click on the accessibility settings on your iOS device. Enable larger text to choose a required font size using the slider.
  • On the Andriod phone or Tablet, access the Font size slider on the accessibility settings to select your convenient choice.

Keyboard shortcuts

Enter & Spacebar (Works on windows 8 and windows 10 App)Play/ Pause
EscExit fullscreen
Left arrowRewind 10 seconds
Right arrowFast forward 10 seconds
Up arrowIncrease Volume
Down arrowDecrease Volume
SSkip Intro

Playback Speed Controls

The playback speed settings are now available on the latest versions of the Netflix mobile application on Android and iOS devices (running on iOS/iPadOS 13.5 or later). This feature is also available on the web, which is using the HTML5 player. To adjust the speed of the TV show, follow these steps:

  1. Play the movie and tap on the screen.
  2. Select the speed icon and choose the playback speed.

Screen Readers

Popular screen readers can be used in Netflix to access its content.  Find and play TV shows of your choice. Some common screen readers that work with Netflix are given below.

DeviceScreen Reader
Apple, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch MacBookVoice over
Android phones and tabletsTalkBack
Windows computersJAWS, NVDA
Smart TV, Blu-ray players, set-top boxes, gaming systems, streaming media playersMany devices include built-in screen readers. For more information, check your device accessibility options or contact the manufacturer.

Subtitles and Closed Captions

Change the closed captions, subtitles, and alternate audio tracks for many TV shows and movies available on Netflix. Few shows can have a combination of these. You can see 5-7 most relevant languages based on your location and language settings. For downloads, Netflix shows the two most relevant languages.

Follow the steps to use subtitles, captions, or alternative tracks. 

  • Open Netflix.
  • Play the movie/show of your choice.
  • Based on the device you are streaming the content, follow the procedure below.
Mobile phones, tablets, and computersTap or click on the screen
Smart TV, Blu-ray players, gaming systems set-top boxes, streaming media playersPress the up or down arrow on the remote
Apple TV 2 or Apple TV 3Hold on to the center button on the Apple TV remote
Apple TV 4 and Apple TV 4KSwipe down on the Apple TV remote
  • At either top or bottom of the screen, select this dialog box . TVs may have the language options on the bottom of the screen, generally without an icon. Choose from the languages shown or select others to view all the languages available. 
  • You have the subtitles appearing. You can also make changes to the audio. Enjoy your shows anytime, anywhere. 

How to change the appearance of subtitles and Closed Captions

The color of captions can be hard to read. The font size of the subtitles may be too small for you. At Netflix, it is your choice to change the font, size, shadow, and background color of closed captions and subtitles. Let’s take the following steps to change the appearance. 

  • Open a web browser and go to your Netflix account page
  • From Profile & Parental Controls, select a profile
  • Select Change for Subtitle Appearance
  • Select your subtitle appearance settings and save the changes
  • Open the Netflix app on your device

Voice Commands

Control Netflix by speaking voice commands. You can find your favorite TV shows and movies by giving orders.  Many voice-activated devices and virtual assistants can be used on Netflix. 

Voice Commands using voice-activated devices. 

  • Press the microphone button on the remote
  • Say a supported voice command when the device is listening.

Virtual assistants that can be used with Netflix

Various virtual assistants like Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, Google Assistant, and Samsung Bixby can be used to give voice commands. 

  • Activate the assistant using the ‘wake word.’ E.g., Hey Siri in Apple. Few devices have a button enabled to active the assistant instead of the wake word.
  • When the assistant is listening, say the voice command for ease of access. E.g., Hey Siri, open Netflix.

Actions that can be performed with voice commands are

Open Netflix: Say ‘Launch Netflix’ or ‘Open Netflix’

Search or browse: Use the terms ‘on Netflix’ when you search or browse. You can browse by categories like the genres of the movie, director, or actor. E.g., ‘Show me movies with Romance on Netflix,’ ‘Show me the movies directed by Aaron Sorkin on Netflix.’

Play a TV show or movie: Also, you can name the TV show or movie you wish to watch. E.g. ‘Play The Trial of the Chicago 7’  

Control Playback: Say ‘play,’ ‘pause,’ ‘fast forward,’ or ‘rewind.’

ADA Compliant Content

We have discussed all the accessibility features at Netflix, the most important one being captions. In 2011, Netflix was sued by the US National Association of the Deaf for not providing captions for the deaf and hear-of-hearing on all of its content. It breached the Americans with Disabilities Act. This boldly explains the importance of captions. Most of the programs today have captions and subtitles. 

We serve the same. At CaptioningStar, the quality of captioning is never compromised. Here we live caption videos, translate them, and provide subtitles. All your offline videos are assets. We provide accurate captions and help you monetize them.