Netflix is making some heartening changes for blind users
Between House of Cards, Bloodline, and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, it’s getting pretty difficult to keep up with all the new Netflix original series out there. But, it’s the streaming platform’s latest critically-acclaimed offering, Daredevil, which is really making waves at the moment — and totally ruining our social lives.
In honor of the Marvel series’ debut this past weekend, and in response to criticism from Daredevil fans, Netflix announced Tuesday via blog post that it will now offer audio descriptions for the blind and sight-impaired to go along with the show. Basically, audio descriptions of the action will accompany the dialogue so sight-impaired Netflix users don’t miss a beat. The series — and this coincidence caught exactly no one off-guard — is about a blind attorney-turned-superhero fighting crime in New York City.
In the statement, Netflix director of content operations Tracy Wright said, “At Netflix, we work hard to continually improve the experience for our members when viewing movies and shows on our service, including providing accessibility across devices,” adding that, “Customers can choose audio narration just like choosing the soundtrack in a different language.” That’s seriously amazing.
Advocacy websites like the accessible Netflix project, were thrilled with the news. The accessible Netflix project wrote in a post: “We’re all rejoicing over this news. This marks a day for advancement. This is a day that proves that anything is possible and that other companies should follow suit. We’re hoping Hulu and others follow Netflix’s course of action. It’s technically and financially doable, after all, so there isn’t an excuse anymore.”
And the cherry on top of this accessibility-friendly sundae? Over the next few weeks and months, Netflix will not only roll out audio descriptions for its popular original programs like Orange is the New Black and Marco Polo, but high-traffic content from outside studios and Netflix partners as well, proving once and for all that no one should be kept from enjoying a mind-numbingly good Netflix binge.
We absolutely love this news and are totally heart warmed to know that even more people will be able to bask in the glory of a Netflix.
If you’d like information on how to set up the audio description feature, this post has a pretty user-friendly tutorial.