Netflix recently incorporated an audio description feature for the episodes of the TV show Daredevil. Such an attempt indicates the company’s efforts to make its services accessible to all users, including those who are blind.
Netflix update lauded by experts
After Daredevil first premiered, certain groups such as iO9 and The Accessible Netflix Project criticized the company for delivering a show based on a blind man which the blind people cannot enjoy in its entirety. People with such a disability could have still listened to the dialogues, but the episodes lacked any sort of audio descriptions for the visual-only scenes. To address the issue, Netflix introduced a voice narration option that explains the actions happening in the middle of dialogues in each of the Daredevil episodes.
Such an update by Netflix has been appreciated by a few of the disability rights advocates who have been long urging the company to make its content reachable to all of its users. Robert Kingett, founder of the Accessible Netflix Project, appreciated the step by Netflix and applauded it as a sign of improvement.
To improve Netflix further
After Daredevil, the online media service is planning to install the same option for a few other original TV series. “We’re expanding our accessibility options by adding audio description on select titles, beginning today with our new critically acclaimed series, Marvel’s Daredevil, director of content operations Tracy Wright said in a blog post. She informed users also that in the coming weeks the feature will be added to more of its popular shows, including House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Marco Polo.
The narration begins with a voice that kicks off by describing the Netflix logo. Then it recites the characters, locations, actions and everything that goes in every episode to provide blind users an idea of what’s happening in between dialogues. For now, the audio description ares only available in English, but Netflix is aiming to include tracks in other languages as well. In addition, the company has sought other studios and content developers to extend their audio description facility across all major platforms, including smart TVs, tablets, smartphones, etc.