A question that I’m (Dave) fortunately not asked that often, however, I am aware that people, when discussing or asking me about a TV programme that they think I may have watched, are cautious about the language they use or sometimes change it; “Did you, urrr, listen to the football match on the TV?” for example.
Usually I don’t even comment on this and just reply saying that I did or didn’t watch the TV and we discuss the programme in question. I have noticed that even my dad will now say “Did you listen to the Grand Prix on TV?”.
Watching TV is what people do. TVs are ‘visual’ so why wouldn’t we watch TV? This is a subject that Vicky and I discuss on our training lots. Not just watching TV, but the colloquial phrases that we use that have visual connotations ‘see you tomorrow’, ‘oh I see what you mean’ and ‘looking forward to meeting you’ are all examples as we mentioned in our previous blog about communication - 11. See you tomorrow…(Communication Part 1) - http://vidatraining.weebly.com/blog/11-see-you-tomorrowcommunication-part-1.
Getting back to TV though, I do watch TV but I do like to have and rely on the Audio description (AD) being turned on. AD is spoken commentary that runs alongside the dialog describing the important visual things happening on the programme such as body language, expressions, movements and explanations of scenery and colours where necessary. This additional dialog enables me to build a better picture of what is going on and fills in the gaps from unspoken elements of the programme that I would miss out on if I didn’t have AD.
AD is available on most new digital TVs or set-top boxes nowadays and usually there is a dedicated AD button on the remote control (or plonker as it’s known in our house) that turns AD on and off. Alternatively, you can access AD by changing your TV settings.
Broadcasters such as the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky must ensure that AD is available on 20% of their programmes. AD is also available on some Freeview channels/programmes and on the majority of films released on DVD.
In the past couple of years, streaming providers such as NetFlix and Amazon TV are now also making programmes and films available with AD and making these easy to find by adding them to a dedicated ‘AD’ menu/list.
If you’re interested to find out more about Audio Description, then the RNIB has a webpage that has further information as well as links to downloadable factsheets. A direct link to the AD page is: https://www.rnib.org.uk/information-everyday-living-home-and-leisure-television-radio-and-film/audio-description
Unfortunately, copyright laws mean we can't show you a video of how AD works, but turn it on on your TV and listen to the audio description to find out how it works.
We’re always interested to know about other people’s experiences and thoughts. Please share these by commenting…
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Our VIDA Insights...
Following our experiences from delivering our Vision Impairment Awareness training days over the past couple of years, we know that there’s loads more that we could talk about and examples we could have shared. Whilst these won’t be a substitute for our training, they will give you an insight (hence the name!) into our thoughts, observations and experiences from each of our perspectives - Dave’s living with sight loss and Vicky’s from being a sighted person and working alongside and supporting people who have sight loss.