"Pork Chops Taste Good, Bacon Tastes Good!" Why I Am an Advocate for Audio Description
If you know me, you know I love movies, TV, opera, musical theater, and pretty much anything in the entertainment genre. When I started to really lose my vision in my early thirties, I was working as a store manager for Blockbuster Video; I oversaw eight stores with more than two hundred employees. During that time, I came to really love movies and I was afraid I would not be able to enjoy them anymore because I was going blind.
I discovered Descriptive Video Service (DVS) which would later become universally known as Audio Description (AD). AD exists for many genres of entertainment and I have been advocating for it for over twenty years now.
I believe AD allows blind people to relate to an area of life that is extremely important to not only us, but the sighted as well. I feel that AD allows us an avenue where we can enter the world of the sighted and break down some of the annoying stereotypes and misconceptions such as the myth that blind people don’t enjoy TV or movies. I think that being able to talk about the latest episode of Game of Thrones, join in on the conversation about Zach Snyder's Justice League Movie, or comment on the awesome costumes and sets of the musical Hamilton allow us to blend in with society and culture. There is even a fairly new podcast called “Talk Descriptive To Me” where a blind and sighted person provide descriptive commentary on many facets of life including important events, places in the world, or even a famous painting. AD allows all of us to visualize what the sighted see and this is a powerful tool in raising our expectations and the world’s expectations of us.
During the month of April, the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) will be joining with Bold Blind Beauty and many other organizations to raise awareness of AD. We will be posting this on our social media platforms and we hope that many of you will join us in promoting AD and what AD means to you.
April 16 is Audio Description Day and we are putting out a challenge. It’s pretty easy and entertaining to do. Simply invite a sighted family member or friend to enjoy a film, show, or production of your choice with AD. Feel free to write a social media post about their experience and use the hashtag #TADAChallenge.
There are many ways to find programming with audio description enabled. NFB-NEWSLINE® has a TV listings section which will tell you if a particularly scheduled show has AD available. I also want to recognize the Audio Description Project funding by the American Council of the Blind (ACB). Here, you can find out where AD is being offered on the different streaming platforms such as Netflix and Hulu.
If you are unsure how to get AD from your local entertainment provider, check out the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) website for questions or to file complaints.
The quote "Pork chops taste good, bacon tastes good" is from the movie Pulp Fiction which is my favorite movie!
- Everette Bacon