“I don’t really go to the movies,” Matt Murdock says at one point in Netflix’s original series based on the Marvel’s blind superhero Daredevil. However, this is not the reality for a most people living with visual impairments. Many of them enjoy the experience of watching movies by listening to the dialogue and having an audio description track to help explain the accompanying visuals on screen.
Audio description is an area where most video-on-demand services fall behind, and many groups have been leveling pressure on the likes of Amazon and Netflix to include them in the packages. These groups were quick to point this out in reference to the brand new Daredevil show, who is blinded by a radioactive substance and uses his heightened remaining senses to fight crime. How could a show that is empowering to people living with visual impairments not include a suitable description track to actually help them enjoy it?
The Director of Content Operations at Netflix listened to these complaints and was quick to act. Tracy Wright said: “We’re expanding our accessibility options by adding audio description on select titles, beginning today with our new critically acclaimed series, Marvel’s Daredevil.”
Tracy Wright has also confirmed that Netflix will be adding audio description tracks to many of their other original titles such as House Of Cards, Orange Is The New Black, Marco Polo and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. It will be available on smart TVs, tablets and smartphones.