Feature Writer Alena Roberts – New Ways to Access Descriptive Audio

Every time I watch a movie or TV show with audio description, it’s a more enjoyable experience. More movies today have descriptive audio tracks than ever before, and now thanks to the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, the amount of television that is described is also growing. To help people find out what shows are described in their area, the American Foundation for the Blind has just created a new tool that allows you to look up listings by your zip code.

The new tool, called Described TV Listings is very easy to use. You start by visiting the website: http://www.afb.org/tv.aspx?action=services

Next, enter your zip code. This will bring up the cable and satellite providers in your area. Choose the provider you use, the date that you want to look up listings on, and the time of day you’re interested in. This search will bring up the listings of shows that have a descriptive audio track.

Getting access to the descriptive audio track can be challenging, so AFB also created a step by step guide to help set up your television. The guide can be found by following this link: http://www.afb.org/section.aspx?FolderID=2&SectionID=4&TopicID=521&DocumentID=6073

How we access descriptive audio for movies is also changing. A new company called Solo DX has already created numerous descriptive audio tracks that you can buy, and they want to do more. Their service is a little different from how you get descriptive audio, though. You start by buying the track from Solo DX and then when you watch the film, you sync the film and the audio track that you’re listening to. This process is a little more complex, but it allows the blind movie watcher to listen to the descriptive audio without affecting the sighted movie watchers around them. To learn more about their service visit their website: http://www.solo-dx.com

Solo DX is currently raising money so that they can describe more television and films. To visit their funding campaign, visit this link: http://www.crowdfunder.com/campaign/281

Hopefully Solo DX can receive all of the funding they need to create more descriptive audio for movies as they are released and maybe other companies will join in to create some audio as well. Happy watching!

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