Contacting Netflix about accessibility issues.

Tim Ford

Hi All,

I took Genni's advice, and called Netflix at 877-742-1480. As I expected, the person answering the general call line had no suggestions. She did however give me the email address for posting questions to their engineer group. The address is:

I also recommend anyone who wishes to use Netflix contact them, either at the phone number below, or the email address above.

In case anyone is interested, below is what I wrote to Netflix. I am not claiming this as anything more than it is, a quick note of frustration, with some ideas for them. Here is what I wrote:

Dear Netflix,

I am blind, and use a Windows 7 laptop. Up until a week or so ago, your web site was extremely hard to navigate, but at least I could start a video. Now, after your web page design changes implemented a few days ago, I cannot even start a video.

I am using the latest update of JAWS version 16; JAWS is the world’s most widely used screen reading software for the blind. I tried accessing your service with IE, Firefox, and Chrome, but could not get a video to start. With IE, I cannot even activate my profile.

I am a reasonably experienced Internet user, and if there is a way to navigate your site with a screen reader, I have not figured it out. I am using the recommended common settings for JAWS, and I have no problems with some other video streaming services.

Back a few weeks ago, Netflix announced the addition of audio description. That is a great move, and I applaud you for that. However, in a very ironic twist, it is not possible for a blind person to select the audio described version, even though one is on the part of your site that contains only audio described programs. Why add that extra step? If one is on the audio description page, the user obviously wants the audio described version, so why not make that the default?

In general, there seems to be a huge gap between your marketing department and the technology group. Netflix marketing is advertising this new and wonderful audio description service, but a blind person simply cannot navigate the site, especially after the rollout of your new web page design.

In closing, I am using a Windows laptop, and I do not have a smart phone. The issues I am asking you to please fix are just for us old-fashioned blind folks using a Windows computer.

I know from experience that screen reader accessibility is a very narrow specialty and skill set, so if you do not have such an expert on staff, you could either hire one or contract with one of the accessibility consultant experts that will help you become and stay accessible.

I am happy to volunteer by helping you test any changes; I have done that in the past for a number of web service companies. Please advise, and much thanks.

Tim Ford

-----Original Message-----
From: Gennie Eachus via Jfw
Sent: Friday, June 19, 2015 7:49 PM
To: 'The Jaws for Windows support list.'
Cc: Gennie Eachus
Subject: RE: Netflix

I also am having trouble with Netflix. I can no longer access the search
field. I have spoken to both the DVD customer service line and to the
streaming customer service line.

The customer service number is
(877) 742-1480
You will be asked to go online to get a service code to speed things up. Not
necessary. Just stay on the line and someone will answer.

We all need to call Netflix about this issue.

-----Original Message-----
From: Jfw [mailto:jfw-bounces@...] On Behalf Of carman
mccauley via Jfw
Sent: Friday, June 19, 2015 5:17 PM
To: 'The Jaws for Windows support list.'
Cc: carman mccauley
Subject: RE: Netflix


A couple of things that may help. On the profile page use the jaws cursor
to click on the profile you want. Use insert f7 to use the links list on
the movies page. I agree they messed it up.

-----Original Message-----
From: Jfw [mailto:jfw-bounces@...] On Behalf Of Daniel McBride
via Jfw
Sent: June-19-15 6:45 PM
To: Jaws User Group
Cc: Daniel McBride
Subject: Netflix

Dear Group:

I am new to this JAWS User Group. I am a subscriber to Netflix, who seems to
want to make it darned difficult for screen readers to navigate.

I am operating with JAWS 14, Windows 7 and Internet Explorer. Netflix
changed things about 4 months ago that made navigation difficult without a
sighted person to use the mouse. Then, they changed again yesterday and I
cannot navigate their site at all.

Any others out there with this issue?


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