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The National Association of the Deaf and Hulu Reach Agreement

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Hulu will provide the captioning option to all subscribers, improving the entertainment experience for deaf and hard of hearing people.

BERKELEY, CA – September 6, 2016 Hulu, LLC (Hulu) and the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), the nation’s premier civil rights organization of, by, and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals, represented by Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF), and Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center (CREEC), entered into a settlement agreement for Hulu to provide 100 percent closed captions of its full-length English and Spanish content by September 2017.

The move by Hulu to caption its extensive library of offerings will build upon Hulu’s commitment to offering a seamless viewing experience and more choice to all subscribers. Over the past few years, Hulu has built its reputation as an industry leader in digital closed captions. As a strong supporter and early adopter of digital closed captioning, Hulu continually strives to improve the quality of its captions and captions publishing systems. The new option will provide captioning access to movies and television shows that are streamed online for consumers, including the 48 million deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States. Under the agreement, Hulu will ensure that deaf and hard of hearing subscribers receive equal and meaningful access to all content of fered through the streaming service. The agreement also continues the work of the NAD, DREDF, and CREEC to ensure streaming entertainment providers are making closed captions available on their video content.

Hulu is a premiere streaming television destination that offers a variety of current hit TV shows, movies and premium original content to subscribers.

Closed captions provide textual access to sounds in a video, such as an actor speaking, lyrics in the musical soundtrack, and sounds effects, such as alerting viewers to when a phone is ringing or an alarm is sounding. This agreement will allow viewers a full experience of everything that is happening in the video. Moreover, all content on Hulu shown in languages other than English or Spanish will be available with captions on request. All captions will be consistent with Federal Communications Commission standards for completeness, accuracy, synchronicity, and placement. Hulu will also continue to make improvements to enable viewers to search for closed captioned content without having to click on each title to determine whether it is available with closed captions.

“With Hulu’s agreement, Hulu will be fully accessible to all deaf and hard of hearing viewers,” said CEO of the NAD Howard Rosenblum. “The NAD appreciates all that Hulu is doing to ensure that its programming is inclusive for all.”

“Our number one commitment at Hulu is to create a seamless, easy-to-access viewing experience for all subscribers and this new agreement helps us reach our goal,” said Ben Smith Senior Vice President, Head of Experience at Hulu. “We are proud to work with the National Association for the Deaf to continue building a world-class viewing experience that is inclusive for all those who want to watch the best of television when, where and how they want it.”

“Hulu is an integral part of the sea-change in how consumers watch TV. Captioning is another type of control consumers can — rightfully — expect and enjoy. Captioning is part of the way we watch now,” said Arlene Mayerson, Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund’s Directing Attorney, who represents the NAD. “Hulu’s actions and commitment to making its media accessible to deaf and hard of hearing subscribers demonstrates that it is possible to fully integrate the deaf and hard of hearing community into the online entertainment marketplace.”

“We are thrilled that Hulu has made this commitment to captioning its library, which will result in expanding access to Hulu’s content for millions of people,” said Julie Wilensky, the Director of the California office of the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center, which also represents the NAD.


National Association of the Deaf (NAD)
The 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. The NAD represents 48 million Americans who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, Inc. (DREDF)
Founded in 1979 by people with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities, 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.

Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center (CREEC)
The CREEC is a membership organization whose goal is ensuring that everyone can fully and independently participate in our nation’s civil life without discrimination based on race, gender, disability, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. CREEC has offices in Denver, Colorado and Berkeley, California.

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