Netflix’s ‘Daredevil’ Now Available to the Blind With Audio Description Track
This weekend’s launch of Marvel’s Netflix Daredevil was met with resounding success, though the visually impaired quickly responded that the streaming service hadn’t catered the blind superhero to their own needs. Now, Netflix has attached to its Daredevil release a new audio track specifically designed for blind audiences, with intent to add similar tracks to its other original programs.
io9 first began reporting on Netflix’s not-unironic omission, while today the streaming service confirmed that a new audio track would enable the visually impaired to follow along with Daredevil, describing “physical actions, facial expressions, costumes, settings and scene changes” along with the regular action onscreen. Netflix also made clear its plans to expand use of the technology, beginning with its own original holdings:
In coming weeks, we’ll add more titles, including current and previous seasons of the Golden Globe and Emmy award-winning political thriller House of Cards, Emmy award-winning comedy-drama series Orange is the New Black, as well as Tina Fey’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and the epic adventure series Marco Polo.
Netflix is actively committed to increasing the number of audio-visual translations for movies and shows in our English-language catalogues. We are also exploring adding audio description into other languages in the future.
Over time, we expect audio description to be available for major Netflix original series, as well as select other shows and movies. We are working with studios and other content owners to increase the amount of audio description across a range of devices including smart TVs, tablets and smartphones.
No word on Netflix enabling viewers to smell a man’s cologne from three floors up, taste copper in the air, or ricochet fighting sticks across mob thugs, but we’ve gotta have something to shoot for, right? All 13 episodes of Marvel’s Daredevil are now available to stream, with the visually impaired track already in place.