TV Shows Are TOO Visual: We Blind/Low Vision Want Descriptive Video Service!

Ronda Del Boccio, best selling authorI started this blog because there are things about the low vision/blind life that are different, and these things tend to fascinate the “sighties” (AKA sighted people) in my life. Today is all about trying to watch TV.

I miss a lot when trying to watch TV or a movie

OK, I know TV is a visual medium primarily, but in the past few years, I’ve noticed a disheartening trend – at least where low vision is concerned.

Imagine this…You’re watching a show and one person is talking off-screen. Onscreen, a scene unfolds in a completely different location with different characters, and if you’re me, you get maybe half of what’s happening.

I was watching Madam Secretary, and at the end of this week’s episode, the president is talking and some character puts a gun to his head. I can’t quite tell who. Someone is knocking on the door. Then the S of S sees something (who knows what) on her computer and turns around with an alarmed expression.

What happens with shows like Madam Secretary or like The Blacklist is I either have to call a friend and ask what was that ____ that happened, or go online and look up a summary of the episode.

ANNOYING for those of us who are blind or low vision!

There is such a thing as Descriptive Video Service (DVFS) which provides audio description from a narrator about what happens onscreen. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this when it is available!

Here’s how DVS works.

Between dialogue, the action is described. For example: “Gibbs turns to Tony, a worried expression on his face. He hands Tony a file marked Top Secret.” SO incredibly helpful for the blind or low vision

PLEASE, networks…you offer closed caption for the deaf on almost everything. Time to catch up and have Descriptive Video Service for the blind! Who’s with me?

Ronda Del Boccio

best selling author, speaker and mentor

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