Verizon Media to caption all new videos, donate $5M to advance accessibility

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Verizon Media announced at its Yahoo Build It Forward event that the company is donating $5 million in media to a number of disability organizations, including the National Association of the Deaf, the American Council of the Blind, and the American Association of People with Disabilities, in support of their advocacy work.

In addition, Verizon Media will ramp up captioning efforts and commit to featuring closed captions on 100 percent of new user-facing video, now including partner content, that is streamed on our own video players starting on April 1, 2021 and going forward. Verizon Media will also extend video ad captioning to its reserved and programmatic offerings, enabling accessibility across all Verizon Media ad platforms.

“Our mission at Verizon Media is to be the most inclusive scaled digital platform in the industry putting our consumers at the center of what we do by building next-generation experiences that connect people to their passions and empower them to make informed choices affecting their everyday lives.” said Joanna Lambert, Head of Consumer, Verizon Media. “At Verizon Media, we believe we have a responsibility to make a positive impact on society and power a more equitable and just society for everyone.”

Verizon Media is also launching its Accessibility Council, an internal leadership group created to provide oversight to educate employees and create best practices and accountability to ensure its content and products are accessible to everyone — including the one billion people in the world who live with some type of disability.

As a pioneer in this space, since opening its first accessibility lab over 16 years ago, Verizon Media’s state-of-the-art Accessibility Labs in Sunnyvale, CA and New York City are recognized as the model for industry efforts to build inclusive products and have attracted many leading advocacy groups and tech companies to visit and learn industry best practices and serve as the hub for product development. Verizon Media will also continue to leverage its new and emerging technologies such as 5G, and virtual and augmented reality to continue to develop accessible formats of the future.

In 2019, Yahoo and Verizon Media partnered with the National Disability Leadership Alliance and Getty Images to create The Disability Collection, a growing collection of stock images that break stereotypes and authentically portray people with disabilities in everyday life. To date, the initiative has 2,700 photos in the collection from 200K+ photographers, and 5,600+ businesses have downloaded images from the collection.