A- A+

#48 Audio Description at the Movies -

Millie’s low vision support group took exciting field trips. When they visited the art museum, a volunteer described the exhibits. Some museums have audio description headsets.

In the photo, that’s Millie on the left. Someone from the museum was describing the wall hanging. This kind of one-on-one help is terrific because those with low vision can ask questions. Millie especially enjoyed the items in the museum that could be touched. The touch ability helps those with low vision “see” more of the exhibits.

When the group went to live theater, they wore a headset and a narrator described the action. The one describing the action did so when the actors weren’t speaking.

If you read my other blog (A New Me) you know I recently went to the movies and enjoyed closed captioning (link) for those with low hearing or are deaf. Closed captioning helps with hearing problems but wouldn’t help those with low vision.

The Regal movie theaters, as well as others, offer help to those who are blind or have low vision with AD (Audio Description). This is a fantastic service for people who are blind or have low vision. A narrator explains what’s happening on the screen. This is done during gaps in dialogue (example – during a fight). That way, the listener only hears one voice at a time.

Here’s a picture of the headset.

For sanitary reasons some theaters offer disposable paper covers on the earpieces.

Ask for an audio descriptive headset when you purchase your ticket. So far, there isn’t a lot of promotion for this service. Consequently, many people don’t know it exists. That keeps many potential patrons at home. If blind, hearing the dialogue often isn’t enough to follow the thread of the movie. But with the help of a narrator describing what is on the screen, the movie goer doesn’t have to guess what’s happening.  

Some movie ads say AD in the promotion . Others have a D)))

Readers: Do you go to the movies? If so, have you ever tried the audio description headset? Tell us about your experience on the contact page.