It’s hard for anyone who’s not blind to know what being visually impaired is like, but from the outside it looks challenging. Not being able to see the world around you, needing a walking stick or a seeing-eye dog to run to the store or go to work, and not being able to watch a sunset all seem like they would be challenging. That being said, most visually impaired people figure out a way to move forward, and they get on with their lives just like the rest of us.
Of course, there’s one thing that’s much more enjoyable when you’re able to see, and hundreds of millions of people do it every day: watching television. Imagine how difficult it would be to figure out what was going on on the TV if you weren’t able to actually see what the people on the screen were doing. You could obtain some context clues from what they’re saying, but for most movies actually seeing the people is quite important. This is where audio description comes in. Audio description is a practice that more and more companies are taking up. In its simplest form, audio description is a voiceover that’s played with the rest of the sound of the show, video or movie that describes the actions going on on the screen. For some shows, this might mean describing what the characters are doing, such as where they’re moving, who they’re looking at, or what they’re holding. For commercials, it might mean saying what images are popping up onto the screen, what words there are, and saying the phone number of the company out loud if it’s on the screen.
Descriptive video services are essentially narrations that get played over the rest of the sound of the video to help people who are visually impaired understand what’s going on in the video. They can help blind individuals and those with less severe sight problems understand who is doing what, what other words are being displayed on the screen, and what actions are being taken by the characters in the show. Most people really enjoy their television, so they can see the benefit that this would bring to visually impaired persons.
Really, audio description is about bringing visual media to a greater audience. It’s about providing the same level of accessibility to people who can’t see well as those with great vision are afforded. If people with vision can sit down and enjoy a television show while knowing what’s actually going on, there’s no reason why people without vision shouldn’t be able to do the same thing. Companies like Audio Eyes are working hard to provide descriptive services to any company that needs them. It’s their goal to ensure that anyone, no matter their vision or other disabilities, is able to enjoy television and movies while knowing exactly what’s going on. They hire only the best talent, and they have each of their videos reviewed by visually impaired persons to make sure that they’re up to standard.