Netflix Will Release Audio Description Tracks For ‘Daredevil’ So Blind Fans Can Enjoy The Show Too

marvelddUnless you’ve had your head buried in the sand or this is your first time using the Internet, you probably know enough about Marvel’s Daredevil series to know that the hero is blind. The thing is, if Matt Murdock existed in real life without any of the comic book powers he possesses on the new Netflix show, until yesterday he wouldn’t have been able to fully enjoy his own kick-punching romps through the bad guys of Hell’s Kitchen.

Daredevil, like all Netflix shows, didn’t come with an audio description track for blind and visually impaired fans until the company announced yesterday that it would provide one.

This, after blind and visually impaired fans pointed out what blogger Andrew Pulrang of Disability Thinking (via MarketWatch) calls “laughably terrible PR for them to leave it out of this show in particular…”

Audio description tracks are exactly what they sound like — explanations of what is appearing on screen, from physical actions to facial expressions, whether someone is wearing a chicken suit or a pin-striped suit, changes in the setting or scene and anything else that needs describing.

The director of content operations at Netflix, Tracy Wright, wrote in a blog post Tuesday that the company is adding audio descriptions on “select titles,” starting with Daredevil, before rolling it out in other Netflix original content like House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black.

Wright says Netflix is also looking into adding description tracks in other languages, and eventually, other shows besides its own.

“Over time, we expect audio description to be available for major Netflix original series, as well as select other shows and movies,” the blog post reads. “We are working with studios and other content owners to increase the amount of audio description across a range of devices including smart TVs, tablets and smartphones.”

Such moves are to be applauded, but it’s not like Netflix suddenly woke up one day with this great idea to enhance access for everyone. As Pulrang points out, the folks at the accessible Netflix project have been pushing the company to add audio description tracks for some time now.

Netflix Begins Audio Description for Visually Impaired [Netlfix blog]
Daredevil: Live Tweet, First Impressions, and an Epic Accessibility Fail [Disability Thinking]

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