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How Do People Who are Blind Enjoy TV?

Bosma Enterprises - 3/26/2020 3:01:33 PM

People who are blind still watch TV and movies, and features like audio description help make the experience more enjoyable.

COVID-19, a.k.a. coronavirus, has forced city and state authorities to order restaurants, bars and other businesses closed, and advise residents to isolate, work from home where possible and practice social distancing. Many people are using this time of quarantine/isolation to catch up on shows and movies through one (or many) available streaming services. 

 

You may be wondering if or how people who are blind even watch television. How do they know what’s happening on the screen? Audio description is an optional narration that describes what is happening on-screen, including physical actions, facial expressions, costumes, settings and scene changes. 

 

Mendi Evans, assistive technology specialist at Bosma Enterprises, shared her perspective on audio description and how it helps her feel more included and invested in various situations. 

“As someone who is blind, audio description makes watching everything from TV to movies a much more enjoyable experience. I am glad it has come a long way, is available in movie theaters, included in digital content, and even available on some mainstream TV shows. I usually do not enjoy the Olympics, particularly gymnastics, but thanks to audio description I found myself glued to primetime coverage of the 2016 Olympics, gymnastics and all. I also am more willing to see movies with friends, knowing I will be able to know what is happening without having to inconvenience them or my neighbors by having them describe what is happening on the screen. Audio description makes content much more enjoyable for those who are blind, and this allows us to feel more included.”

 

Audio description is available for thousands of movies and shows through streaming services as well as regular tv. Below you’ll find information on available titles and instructions for turning on audio description for a few of the most popular services. 

 

Even during times of crisis, people who are blind can do anything their sighted counterparts can, they just may have to do it a little differently. Stay safe, and “quaran-stream” away!

 

Netflix

-Titles that currently have audio descriptions available can be found at netflix.com/browse/audio-description

-How to turn on audio description for your specific device: https://help.netflix.com/en/node/372

 

Hulu 

-To view titles that currently have audio descriptions available, open the Browse menu and select Audio Description from the list of genres. 

-How to turn on audio description for your specific device: https://help.hulu.com/s/article/audio-description?language=en_US

 

Disney+

-Titles that currently have audio descriptions available can be found at http://acb.org/adp/disneyad.html#titles

-How to turn on audio description for your specific device: https://help.disneyplus.com/csp?id=csp_article_content&sys_kb_id=c5423e9cdb0d40d03c0cf158bf961964

 

TV

-For instructions to turn on audio descriptions by TV service provider, visit: https://acb.org/adp/tv.html