We all love watching TV but it is a visual experience, so how do you watch TV when Blind? While subtitles are known as an option for those who are hard of hearing, your TV and streaming devices also have a feature called Audio Description. Audio Description describes what is happening on screen when you can’t tell from the audio only. Most TVs in the last 10 years have an option to turn this on. When turned on, programs on TV that have audio description will automatically add it between the normal sound track.
Audio description isn’t available for all programming and films, but it is improving all the time. Disney+ and Apple TV+ have AD on most content within their services. Netflix and Amazon Prime also have a reasonable amount of content with Audio Description. Each service has a different way of enabling Audio Description on their service.
Turning on Audio Description
- Disney + – Closed captions, subtitles, and audio language on Disney+ | Disney+ (disneyplus.com)
- Netflix – How to turn on Audio Description
- Apple TV device – Use audio descriptions on Apple TV – Apple Support (UK)
- Apple iPhone and iPad – Turn on audio descriptions on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch – Apple Support
- Amazon Prime – How to turn on Audio Description Fire TV
For Terrestrial TV in the UK. the first 5 channels include AD on a proportion of their content. To enable AD on terrestrial TV, look in your TV’s settings for AD support.
My experience of Watching TV when Blind
Audio Description has changed my life, I can keep up with programs without asking my wife to tell me what is happening every five minutes. It has taken some time for the family to adjust to having audio description turned on all the time, but now everyone in the family understands the benefits. My wife can now do her jigsaw puzzles without missing moments while looking away.
Tell me what you think in the comments below or on twitter @timdixon82