How Marlee Matlin Helped Force Streaming Video Closed Captions Into Digital Age

When closed-captioning finally enters the digital age Wednesday, it will be in no small measure because of Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin.

Matlin, who has been deaf since childhood, has been fighting for the past five years to get companies that offer streaming and online video to include closed captioning for the 35 million Americans who are deaf and hard of hearing.

“With so much technology out there, there were still holes and people were being left out,” Matlin told ABC News. “There’s no excuse in this day and age with so much technology out there that’s there’s not sufficient and 100 percent accurate captions.”

Now, beginning Wednesday, streaming companies including Netflix, Hulu and Amazon must offer closed captioning or be subject to the same fines as traditional broadcast television.

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