One of the fascinating things about the titular hero in Daredevil is that he’s visual impaired, but uses his enhanced skills to be one of the best @$$ kickers on the mean streets of New York. That’s not to say that blind people can’t be brawlers – they can! – but when Daredevil was created by Stan Lee and Bill Everett in 1964, that was a very forward-looking ideal. The world has changed a lot in the last 50 years, but in some ways people with visual disabilities still have to advocate for equal access, even to a Netflix show about blind lawyer and superhero. Well good news for the hard of seeing because Netflix is bring making the fun and action of Daredevil available to you through the power of described video.
When Daredevil bowed last week on Netflix, it was dubbed in a number of other languages and/or with subtitles in various languages, but ironically, the show was offered without described video or audio description. In case you’ve never encountered the service before, it basically narrates the action and describes character, set and costume details to give those with a visual disability a more complete picture of the on-screen action. A social media campaign called #Dare2Describe was started to get a described version of Daredevil available, and today, those fans have been greeted with success!
“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,” wrote Tracy Wright, director of content operations, on Netflix’s blog.
More than that though, Netflix has pledge to make many of its original series, including hits like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, and new offerings like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Marco Polo, available in described video as well. “Over time, we expect audio description to be available for major Netflix original series, as well as select other shows and movies,” added Wright. “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.”
I guess some corporations are not so soulless as we were led to believe. So much the better. Seriously, this was synchronicity for advocates, the right project with the right message at the right time. So now even if you can’t watch Daredevil, you can watch Daredevil!
You can celebrate by binging every episode of Daredevil right now on Netflix!