The National Association of the Deaf announced January 26 a first-of-its kind agreement with Gogo LLC, requiring the in-flight entertainment company to make its services accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
“This is a monumental step in making in-flight entertainment accessible to the 48 million deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States alone,” NAD CEO Howard Rosenblum said in a news release. “Personalized in-flight entertainment has made air travel exciting again. The ability to access and watch an extensive library of movies or television shows helps pass the time on long flights.”
Under the agreement, Gogo will make make 100 percent of its programming closed captioned by June 30, 2017.
Gogo, through its streaming services Gogo Vision, allows airlines passengers to download a range of entertainment options on their Wi-Fi enabled devices, such as smart phones, tablets or laptops. While long the go-to source for in-flight web browsing, the company has recently made headlines for its new, faster streaming speeds, which allow passengers to stream Netflix, YouTube and other services that typically require more bandwidth.
“In-flight entertainment systems can be designed to accommodate captioning in a variety of ways similar to what is available on home television sets. Gogo’s actions and commitment demonstrate its dedication to providing accessible in-flight entertainment systems,” said Arlene Mayerson, directing attorney of the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, which provided legal representation to the NAD, along with the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center, in a news release.