Though most of the response to the new Netflix series Marvel’s Daredevil has been positive, there was one negative backlash and it had to do with the visually impaired. Daredevil, the story of a blind lawyer who takes the law into his own hands at night debuted without audio narration (at track the describes what is happening on the screen). This prompted a social media campaign using the hashtag #Dare2Describe. Netflix has been quick to take note and make changes to more than just Daredevil. The following was posted on the Netflix blog.
Netflix Begins Audio Description for Visually Impaired
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. Now we’re expanding our accessibility options by adding audio description on select titles, beginning today with our new critically acclaimed series, Marvel’s Daredevil.
Audio description is a narration track that describes what is happening on-screen, including physical actions, facial expressions, costumes, settings and scene changes. Customers can choose audio narration just like choosing the soundtrack in a different language.
In coming weeks, we’ll add more titles, including current and previous seasons of the Golden Globe and Emmy award-winning political thriller House of Cards, Emmy award-winning comedy-drama series Orange is the New Black, as well as Tina Fey’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and the epic adventure series Marco Polo.
Netflix is actively committed to increasing the number of audio-visual translations for movies and shows in our English-language catalogues. We are also exploring adding audio description into other languages in the future.
Over time, we expect audio description to be available for major Netflix original series, as well as select other shows and movies. 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.
Tracy Wright is the director of content operations at Netflix.