Last weekend when "Daredevil" took over the Internet, some fans of the TV show noticed something funny; if Matt Murdock were a real person who wanted to watch the Netflix series about himself, he would not actually be able to do so.
That's because while all of Netflix's original content has closed captioning for hearing impaired viewers, up until now they haven't had any services in place for visually disabled viewers -- and as hyper-aware of his surroundings as Daredevil is, not even his radar sense can make out what's happening on a TV screen when no one is talking.
All that's about to change, however, because today (April 14) Netflix announced that they'll be expanding their accessibility options to include audio narration for all their original shows, starting -- of course! -- with "Daredevil."
For those who aren't in the know, audio description works sort of like this: imagine if someone turned your favorite TV show into an audiobook by speaking around the dialogue to describe all of the vistual elements of what’s happening. They might tell you what a character is doing with his face, or when the scene changes to a new location. It’s not a perfect system, but it does a lot to keep visually-impaired viewers in the loop -- and because it takes more effort to do than transcribing an episode, it's much less common than captions.
But in the the coming weeks, Director of Content Operations Tracy Wright notes in her blog post, they’ll also add audio narration to “House of Cards,” “Orange Is The New Black,” “Marco Polo,” and “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.”
Netflix will also soon be looking into creating audio tracks for other languages, and claim to be working with other content owners to “increase the amount of audio description across a range of devices including smart TVs, tablets and smartphones.” Hopefully, if they're able to make a big enough impact, other streaming companies like Hulu will also follow suit.
This is sure to delight blind “Daredevil” fans in particular, who’ve been advocating for the streaming content provider to add audio narration to the series since last summer when the series was first announced. Now, everyone will get to bear witness to the suaveness that is Matt Murdock: