For visually-impaired Netflix subscribers, viewing shows and movies can be difficult. To rectify this problem, the streaming platform has introduced a new audio description feature which describes exactly what’s happening on the screen.
In a company blog post, Netflix’s director of content operations Tracy Wright wrote that the audio description is a narration track which can be turned on under the same settings for choosing a different language or turning on subtitles. The audio description then explains “physical actions, facial expressions, costumes, settings and scene changes.” VentureBeat tested the new accessibility feature and noted its thoroughness, including an accurate description of the Netflix title screen: “Some letters pop out from a white background, then turn red, Netflix.”
“Netflix is actively committed to increasing the number of audio-visual translations for movies and shows in our English-language catalogues,” explained Wright. “We are also exploring adding audio description into other languages in the future.”
Currently, audio description is only available on Netflix’s original series Daredevil (a fitting choice considering the titular character’s blindness). However, Netflix plans to expand the accessibility feature to its other owned titles in the future, including House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black, Unbreakable Kimmy Schimdt, and Marco Polo.
Netflix is working with studios and content owners to make their programming more accessible. The streaming platform eventually hopes to have audio description available for most of its titles across a variety of supported devices.