Netflix, in an effort to be more inclusive of visually impaired television fans, has introduced a feature to add audio descriptions to its original programming, beginning with new Marvel series "Daredevil."
In a blog post, Tracy Wright, the director of content operations at Netflix, explained that the streaming service wanted to increase its accessibility for all viewers, and that now includes the visually impaired. Netflix's decision to begin this process with "Daredevil" is especially significant, since the show's protagonist, Matt Murdock, is blind, and the comics starring the superhero are especially popular in the visually impaired community.
"Audio description is a narration track that describes what is happening on-screen, including physical actions, facial expressions, costumes, settings and scene changes," Wright explained in her blog post. "Customers can choose audio narration just like choosing the soundtrack in a different language."
Entertainment Weekly tried out the feature, and it's quite detailed, with "a voice describing the action in between dialogue" that "picks up right from the start, even explaining how the Netflix logo appears - 'Letters pop out from a white background, then turn red. Netflix,' a voice says."
So far, the option is only available in English and in select territories, though Netflix is working to expand it into other languages and locations. And it will soon be available on other Netflix exclusive titles, including "Orange Is the New Black," "House of Cards," "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," and "Marco Polo."
"Over time, we expect audio description to be available for major Netflix original series, as well as select other shows and movies," Wright wrote. "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."
[via: Netflix, h/t Entertainment Weekly]
Photo credit: Barry Wetcher © 2014 Netflix, Inc
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