In times of uncertainty and, let's be honest, boredom, we need to find ways to entertain ourselves. Now, at Envision we have tons of work to do, but like any other, we also need to take a moment to chill for a bit. So I asked Jesse, one of our blind colleagues, how he copes with finding time to chill. I took him through my chill routine, which these days basically consists of watching Netflix, and he told me about his. Which includes the Envision app.. hmmm interesting.
Luckily, Jesse is always brutally honest with me. I am sighted myself and every now and then a dumb questions comes out. Like: "what is it like for you to watch movies?" This time Jesse replied in an unexpected way. He loves movies! This immediately raised dumb question number two: "but how do you experience movies?".
“I love movies and most of them are accessible these days!” - Jesse.
We started talking and Jesse told me he doesn’t have Netflix, so he's not sure if he can show me how he watches movies, but he's happy to explain his tricks. First and foremost, many many movies and tv series have audio description. I assume this is old news. But, when a movie doesn't have audio description, Jesse uses Envision's Instant Text. Now, that was totally new to me. I know that the Envision app is pretty good at describing scenes and instantly reading out text, but I did not realize that the speed of the app is up for a fast framed movie or show.
In order for Jesse to help me a bit more, I gave him my Netflix password (sorry guys at Netflix) and created a profile for him. That way he didn't have to deal with content tailored to my binge watch preferences (which ranges from super girly movies to horror documentaries). First, we decided to browse through the audio description section. We had to do some online research to find out that the quickest way to get there, is simply typing in "audio description" in Netflix's search bar. There we go, tons of options. Netflix, being a production house itself, aims on being as inclusive as can be. They make sure they provide their original content with audio description, which is great for Jesse.
Then there are a whole lot of movies and shows out there which are not accessible at all. Mainly older versions, but who doesn't like a good oldie? This time we chose to watch Friends. My favorite show of all time and I'm only hoping Jesse likes it too!
Jesse opens up the Envision app and starts "instant text". The subtitles descriptions are not perfect, like I expected, since frames in shows go pretty fast. But it's definitely an upgrade versus only hearing voices. Now we better understand what is happening in Monica's apartment, back in the days when Rachel was still her roommate.
After our Netflix & chill moment, I did some research myself to find out how people feel about the audio descriptions provided. Happiness and especially helpful in the times we're currently in!
Just so you have it, these are the Netflix results when you search for audio description. Note: you have to login to get the titles:
We also copied a good top 39 from our friends at Blind Bargains, which you will find below.
Thanks Jesse, Blind Bargains and Netflix, for clearing up my questions once and for all!
13 Going on 30
About a Boy
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
Being Human (U.S.)
Black Hawk Down
Daddy Day Care
Ella the Elephant
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures
Pain & Gain
Parks and Recreation
Star Trek Into Darkness
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
The Office (U.S.)
The Wolf of Wall Street
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
World War Z