Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Descriptive Video Brings Films to Life for the Blind

by Alena Roberts

The other night my husband and I watched the new Alice in Wonderland. Just for kicks I asked him to check if there was a descriptive video track. Much to my surprise there was, and so for the next few hours I was able to fully experience the film. Watching movies and TV with descriptive video is like a whole different experience for me. I really get to imagine what people are seeing and no longer do my sighted friends and family have to attempt to describe what’s happening when there is no dialogue. I especially appreciate the descriptions when there is a lot of action happening on screen because those scenes are especially difficult to describe unless you’ve seen the film before. It’s taken a long time, but I think that one day soon most if not all films will have descriptive video tracks included. Sony has already committed to including it in all their releases and I’m hoping that other studios will follow their lead. I used to believe that finding films with descriptive video was impossible, but I recently found a website that has hundreds of offerings. The Blind Mice Movie Vault is a site that offers free downloads of films in mp3 format. The files include the film with the descriptive video track. It’s really fun to lounge on the couch while my mp3 player or computer plays the film. Since I don’t need a screen to watch the film on, an audio file is perfect. To start enjoying these films, please visit this link. http://www.blindmicemart.com/assets/product_images/movies2.html.

If instead you want to be able to enjoy films with your sighted friends and family, here is a link to a list of all the dvd’s that currently have a descriptive video track. http://main.wgbh.org/wgbh/pages/mag/alldvsmovies.html Enjoy!

Matilda Ziegler Magazine for the Blind

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