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Any cursory research reveals that one of the most popular pastimes for blind people is watching TV and visiting the cinema.
I once worked in cinema and the facilities for blind people were rubbish. They had to go with a friend so the friend could descibe essential action and visual clues, which
resulted in a lot of mumbling in the auditorium and uncomfortable ethical questions about whether it is okay to tell them to belt up.
Surely an audio system similar to the relay for deaf people could be added, whereby blind people can tune in (probably via an earpiece) to an audio commentary of the film they are watching.
Descriptive Video Service
Croissant for the sentiment [thumbwax, Oct 04 2004]
Non-Visual TV Screen
related idea by [StreetLight], also solved in the real world using DVS [krelnik, Oct 04 2004]
How to make movies accessible (Joe Clark)
Audio-description is baked, but not widely installed; ditto captioning for deaf moviegoers. [JKew, Oct 04 2004]
Animatronic Subtitling Hands for the Deaf
Similar idea, sort of. [hippo, Oct 04 2004]
|All the video output we produce at work is available subtitled, signed or audio described. The Filmworks in Manchester and the Lowry have audio described films and performances. Admittedly it's not as good or as commonplace as it should be. Any cinema with the inductive loop system for hearing aid users should be able to add this fairly easily. The BFI is sponsoring a project to roll this out into more UK cinemas, but the project has been down-sized from £2m to £350,000.
|Reminds me of a SNL skit in which Julia Louis-Dreyfuss and a date sit down in a theater for a performance of "Ballet for the Blind." The ballet begins, and as one might expect, the dancers are constantly bashing into one another. Finally it gets so bad that JLD and her date interrupt the performance and complain that poor blind dancers should not be asked to endure such physical abuse.
|Whereupon the entire dance troupe looks directly at the complaining couple in disgust. One of the dancers getsures to the audience, among whom we now see a preponderance of dark glasses, white canes, and guide dogs, and says, "No, no. It's Ballet *for* the blind!"