Ardis Bazyn and the search for Audio Description

Ardis Bazyn is a blind speaker, coach and writer and one of our cherished Community Advisory Board members. Between numerous writing projects, seminars and speaking events, she’s somehow found the time to write a piece for our blog describing her search for audio description in her area. Thanks, Ardis!

Recently, there were some members of a chapter in northern CA who were doing some advocacy work at a local movie chain that didn’t provide audio description for any movies. Since I hadn’t seen a movie in my city recently, I asked about them and found out that the theater no longer had them while transferring to digital mode. It made me reflect on the options we have available as visually impaired movie and play watchers.

Audio described movies and plays are wonderful to watch for those of us without any vision. However, it is difficult to go to a movie or play at the last minute. Besides having to locate an audio described event close to where I live, there is the matter of the short amount of time the particular show is described. First, I have to receive notification of a movie or play in which I have some interest. If I have received no notification, I have to call the two theaters which I know have occasional plays or call the local movie theaters or ask my husband to do some research. Lucky for me, he doesn’t mind.

Once I’ve heard about a possible play or movie, the search isn’t over. There is the transportation issue. If the play or movie isn’t playing in my neighborhood, I have to determine if I can get a bus, train or Parra transit to the event.

The final issue is my schedule. When I’m in town, free from other commitments, the choice of the described movie or play isn’t often to my liking.

So what is the solution? We need more description on TV and on DVDs I can purchase. It isn’t easy to find DVDs with the audio described track. It isn’t easy to know what shows on TV have audio description. Even if I have heard about a show that has description, I cannot access it on my cable HDTV box since my husband and I like to save programs to watch later.

What is my wish for the future? I’m hoping some of the new audio description possibilities will push the audio description field along so much that we can find audio description all over. What a great day that will be.

A great day, indeed! Thanks again, Ardis. You can read more about Ardis’ life and work at:

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