Audio description is a narration track that describes exactly what’s happening on-screen, including physical actions, facial expressions, costumes, settings, and scene changes. Netflix choose the launch of its latest hit original series Daredevil
to mark a turning point in accessibility for streaming video, as this is the first piece of content on the video streaming giant
that supports audio description. Quite poetic, since Daredevil
follows the story of a blind superhero. Netflix subscribers can now choose audio narration just like choosing the soundtrack in a different language.
According to the Netflix blog, more titles will benefit from audio descriptions in the following weeks – including House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Marco Polo.
ABC iView has also started to trial audio description, currently available on the iOS version of the app for iPhones and iPads. However, the trial will be extended to desktop PCs in May, Android devices in June, and to HbbTV enabled TVs connected to the Internet in July.