Last updated: 02:30 PM ET, Wed January 27 2016

Gogo, NAD Come Together For Historic Closed Captioning Partnership

Travel Technology | Gabe Zaldivar | January 27, 2016

Gogo, NAD Come Together For Historic Closed Captioning Partnership

Photo courtesy Thinkstock

You might complain about in-flight entertainment options. But many of you actually have a real gripe as pertains to FCC compliant video.

Thankfully, according to a press release, Gogo has joined forces with the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) to bring closed captioning to “100 percent of programming content sourced by Gogo and streamed through its on-demand in-flight entertainment service, Gogo Vision.”

This is a giant and important step, especially as Gogo continues to immerse its offerings into various airlines around the world.

Some might recall that just back in 2014 Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) was working to raise funding and awareness for the plight of those hearing impaired who had extremely limited in-flight entertainment choices.  

As for Gogo, it has been hit with criticism for what passengers consider painfully slow Wi-Fi access.

For the moment, there is nothing but applause coming from the CEO of “the non-profit civil rights organization of, by, and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals.”

Howard Rosenblum had this to say about the big news: “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. 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. The NAD is thus thrilled by Gogo’s decision to make the in-flight entertainment experience equally accessible to deaf and hard of hearing passengers.”

While airlines have indeed moved to closed captioning for their video on demand services in the past, so many passengers are given the opportunity to stream entertainment thanks to Gogo.   

As the release states, the technology is both historic and easily accessible: “This is the first agreement of its kind with an in-flight entertainment company, and is the result of the parties’ mutual intent to increase access for people who are deaf and hard of hearing to movies and television that are viewed in flight on U.S. domestic flights.  Passengers using their own personal Wi-Fi enabled devices can access a Gogo Vision server located on aircraft of certain airlines that contain an extensive library of movies and television shows.”

It will be some time before in-flight Wi-Fi is as accessible and free flowing as it is on the ground.

However, Gogo is taking great steps to ensure more of its content is enjoyed by all who travel by airplane.

As noted, these changes will be FCC compliant and ready in full by June 30, 2017.


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