Each month I will be responding to a question; chosen from a pool of some of
the most commonly asked ones that I have been asked over the years and
continue to be asked.
This month, I’d like to answer the following question:
How does one make movies more accessible to those who are blind?
By Donna J. Jodhan
The trick here is to ensure that a blind movie goer can follow the movie;
that they can hear what you see. How is this possible?
You can do this by providing descriptive video programming. That is, to
have silent scenes described. This means that whenever there is something
on the screen where there is no talking or sound, a blind person needs to
have it described. So, what does one have to describe in order to enable a
blind movie goer to be better able to follow a movie? My list may not be
complete but it is a good start.
1. Describe expressions and body language of actors and actresses.
2. Describe sceneries.
3. Describe actions that are taking place when there is no sound to tell the
blind listener what is going on.
4. Describe what people in the movie are wearing.
5. Describe gestures that are being made.
6. Describe what people are doing as they speak, walk, or anything else.
I hope that this is a good start for you. The thing to keep in mind is
this: You need to describe what the mainstream sighted person sees.